Skip to main content

Full text of "Final environmental impact statement : wilderness recommendations for Nevada contiguous lands"

S OtF*tlM£NI Of TW 



BLM LIBRARY 





R" "REAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

LAS VEGAS and WINNEMUCCA DISTRICTS 



88045155 



^ 



. \ iJjlg 



1/ 



o. 



o, 



• JBk 



Q 

■fit s* 




WILDERNESS ENVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT STATEMENT 

JANUARY 1990 

FINAL 



0^ 



<e ? - 



CT 




United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

NEVADA STATE OFFICE 

850 Harvard Way 

P.O. Box 12000 

Reno, Nevada 89520-0006 




TAKE 
PRIDE IN, 
AMERICA 



IN REPLY REFER TO: 

(8500) 
(NV-932.6) 



January 22, 1990 



Dear Reader: 

Enclosed for your review is the Nevada Contiguous Lands Final Wilderness 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The final EIS analyzes the Las Vegas, 
Winnemucca and Ely Districts' proposals to recommend a portion of two Wilderness 
Study Areas (WSAs) as suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness 
Preservation System (NWPS) and release from further consideration eleven WSAs 
and one Instant Study Area (ISA). 

The final EIS has been completed in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA). These recommendations may be subject to change through 
administrative review after receipt of the minerals reports from the Bureau of 
Mines and U.S. Geological Survey. If significant information contained in the 
minerals reports indicates a need for change in the proposals analyzed in this 
EIS, a supplemental EIS will be issued and distributed for public review. 



We appreciate your interest 
wilderness study areas. 



and involvement in the study process for these 



Sincerely,. 



Edward F. Sp^ng/"""^ \ 
State Di rector, VNevapa 



1 Enclosure: 
Encl . 1 - Nevada Contiguous Lands 

Final Wilderness EIS (450 pp) 















FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

WILDERNESS RECOMMENDATIONS 

for 

NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS 

Prepared by 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

WINNEMUCCA DISTRICT 

LAS VEGAS DISTRICT 

ELY DISTRICT 



[jbzJ&Jd 



Ron Wenker 
Winnemucca District Manager 



Ben F. Collins 
Las Vegas District Manager 

Qu^KutP A ■ \[)(Jk — 
Kenneth G. Walker 
Ely District Manager 




Edward F. Spanxj- 

State Director, Iteyad 

The proposed land use plan contains wilderness recommendations for 200,918 acres 
of public land in Clark, Lincoln, White Pins and Humboldt Counties, Nevada. The 
action responds to the mandate of Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 to review all public land roadless areas of 5,000 acres 
or more; determine their suitability or nonsuitabil ity for wilderness 
designation; and report these suitability recommendations to the President no 
later than October 21, 1991. 

For further information contact: Dave Wolf, Wilderness Program Coordinator, 
Nevada State Office, 850 Harvard Way, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520, or call 
(702) 328-6283 or FTS 470-6283. 

Date the final environmental impact statement with the wilderness recommendations 
was made available to the public: January 22, 1990 

BLMLVPT890158500 



L 



SUMMARY 



PURPOSE 

The purpose of the Proposed Action in two of the wilderness study areas (WSAs) examined in this EIS, as 
the Wilderness Act states, "Is to secure for the American people of present and future generations the 
benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness." In 12 of the WSAs the purpose is to manage for use other 
than wilderness. This document analyzes the potential impacts of designating or not designating as 
wilderness all or portions of 13 WSAs and one Instant Study Area in Clark, Lincoln, White Pine, and Humbolt 
Counties, Nevada. The Proposed Action represents the BLM's preliminary recommendations for these 13 
WSAs and one Instant Study Area as they were developed through the Bureau planning system. 

The study areas are listed in Table 8-1. 

ISSUES 

The scoping process for the Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness EIS encompassed issues identified by 
BLM staff and by the public during a formal scoping comment period on issue identification in Reno, Las 
Vegas and Ely (August 1987). The environmental issues identified for analysis in this EIS are listed below: 

Impacts on Wilderness Values 

Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources 

Impacts on the Existing Material Site Rights-of-Way 

Impacts on the Exploration for Oil and Gas 

Impacts on the Levels of Motorized Recreational Use 

Impacts on Recreation Management 

Impacts on Grazing Management 

Impacts on the Development of Utilities 

Impacts on the Development of a Rail Line 

Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise 

Impacts on Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Endangered Species Habitat 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis in the EIS: 

Impacts on Military Overflights 

Impacts on Cultural Resources 

Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep and Pronghorn 

Impacts on Water Sources 

Impacts on Livestock Development and Maintenance Activities 

Impacts on Private Inholdings 



Table S-1 
LIST OF WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS AND ISA 



WSA Name 


Land Use 
Plan 


Acreage 


District 


Marble Canyon (NV040-086) 


Shell 


19,150 


Ely 


Fish & Wildlife No. 1 (NV050-201) 


Clark/Caliente 


1 1 ,090 


Las Vegas 


Fish & Wildlife No. 2 (NV050-216) 


Clark 


17,242 


Las Vegas 


Fish & Wildlife No. 3 (NV050-217) 


Clark 


22,002 


Las Vegas 


Lime Canyon (NV050-231) 


Clark 


34,680 


Las Vegas 


Million Hills (NV050-233) 


Clark 


21,296 


Las Vegas 


Garrett Buttes (NV050-235) 


Clark 


1 1 ,835 


Las Vegas 


Quail Springs (NV050-411) 


Clark 


12,145 


Las Vegas 


El Dorado (NV050-423) 


Clark 


12,290 


Las Vegas 


Ireteba Peaks (NV050-438) 


Clark 


14,994 


Las Vegas 


Jumbo Springs (NV050-236) 


Clark 


3,466 a/ 


Las Vegas 


NellisABC (NV050-04R-15) 


Clark 


5,718 a/ 


Las Vegas 


Evergreen ABC (NV050-01 R-1 6) 


Caliente 


2,694 a/ 


Las Vegas 


Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 


Sonoma-Gerlach 


12,316 


Winnemucca 


Natural Area (ISA) 


Paradise-Denio 






TOTAL 




200,918 Acres 





a/ 202s - Each area is divide into subunit's of less than 5,000 acres. The areas do not meet the 5,000 acre 
size criteria (continuous roadless lands) under Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA). These WSAs qualify under Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. 



ALTERNATIVES AND CONCLUSIONS 

The alternatives assessed in this Final EIS include: (1) an All Wilderness Alternative for each WSA, (2) a No 
Wilderness/No Action Alternative for each WSA and (3) a Partial Wilderness Alternative for five of the 14 
WSAs. 



MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 

Proposed Action (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends 8,300 acres suitable for wilderness designation and 10,850 acres 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-1). 

CONCLUSIONS 

The result of designating the suitable portion of the WSA as wilderness would be to preserve the 
excellent opportunities for solitude and opportunities for primitive recreation, highly scenic geologic 
values and the stands of bristlecone pine. Long-term physical impacts to the wilderness qualities 
in the nonsuitable portion of the WSA would occur on approximately 1 acres. These impacts would 
be concentrated north of Bars Canyon and on the eastern benches of the WSA. The majority of the 
disturbance would be related to marble exploration and stock reservoir construction. The remaining 
10,840 acres would retain their wilderness values except for the creation of a few primitive two- 
track routes. 

Exploration and development of marble resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the suitable portion of the WSA. All lands within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA would remain 
open to mineral entry. There would be no adverse impacts on the exploration or development of 
mineral resources within the nonsuitable portion. 

The use of motorbikes to assist in the trailing of livestock would not be allowed in the suitable 
portion; however, the elimination of this activity would have only a negligible effect on grazing 
operations since only a small portion of the suitable area lends itself to motorbike use. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 19,150 acres of public land in the Marble Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-2). 

CONCLUSIONS 

The result of designating the WSA as wilderness would be to preserve the bristlecone pine, geologic 
and archaeological values and prime raptor habitat. The outstanding opportunities for solitude and 
the opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation would be retained on 19,148 acres. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the WSA. Restricted exploration activity would occur. Development of the marble reserves is not 
expected to take place. 

The construction of two stock reservoirs would not be allowed. The absence of the reservoirs would 
have no effect on current grazing practices. The switching from the use of motorbikes to horses 
to accomplish livestock trailing would have a slight adverse economic impact on the operator. 



No Wilderness Alternative 

None of the 19,150 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA would be recommended for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-3). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Long term physical impairment to the wilderness qualities would occur on approximately 10 acres 
near Bars Canyon and the eastern bench of the Marble Canyon WSA. Opportunities for solitude 
and primitive unconfined recreation would be largely unaffected. The bristlecone pine and 
archaeological values would be unaffected. Some raptor habitat would be slightly impaired in the 
vicinity of Bars Canyon. The remaining 19,140 acres would retain their wilderness values except for 
the creation of a few primitive two-tracked routes. 

All lands within the WSA would remain open to mineral entry. There would be no adverse impacts 
on the exploration or development of mineral resources. 

There would be no adverse impact on grazing management within the Marble Canyon WSA under 
the No Wilderness Alternative. 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 1 1 ,090 acre area nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-4). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Utilization of the WSA for the projected development of utilities, motorized recreational vehicle use, 
extraction of sand and gravel and mineral exploration could physically disturb up to an estimated 
823 acres. The natural perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of 
utilities (towers, lines, roads) across the landscape. Outstanding opportunities for solitude and 
opportunities for primitive recreation would be diminished and, in some instances lost due to the 
audio and visual distractions from the aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. A potential 
for loss of desert tortoise is anticipated as a result of the activities mentioned above. However, the 
implementation of stringent management actions, such as restricted utility development, motorized 
recreational use and implementation of reclamation stipulations for mineral exploration, would 
provide protection to maintain a viable population. 

All lands within the WSA would remain open to mineral entry. Adverse impacts on the exploration 
or development of mineral resources in not anticipated. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action, benefiting 
this activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a 
result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this activity would be negligible. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. 

All lands within the WSA could remain open to the development of material sites. There would be 
no negative impacts on the extraction of materials from the two existing material sites. However, 
potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a result of categorization 

iv 



of the area's tortoise habitat. 

Under the Proposed Action, an estimated total of up to 823 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat could be lost under full utilization of the WSA for utility development, motorized recreational 
use, extraction of sand and gravel and mineral exploration. However, some potential impacts 
adverse to the habitat might be mitigated through the implementation of management actions. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 1 1 ,090 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-5). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness and outstanding 
opportunities that exist for solitude and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise. Activities 
related to the authorized extraction of sand and gravel would impair naturalness qualities over 
approximately 320 acres of the WSA. Special features would be afforded added protection from 
wilderness designation by the restriction of potential surface disturbing activities. 

Exploration for and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands 
within the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur without wilderness designation would 
not occur due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. Development of mineral resources 
is not projected to take place. 

Motorized recreational use of 45 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 
Less desirable routes would be utilized by potential utility users. 

Development of material sites within the WSA would not be adversely impacted under the All 
Wilderness Alternative. Full utilization of the two existing material sites would occur under perpetuity 
and no other material sites are projected to be developed. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, crucial desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within an 
estimated 97 percent of the WSA. Approximately 320 acres of Category I habitat would be lost to 
the authorized extraction of sand and gravel. 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 (NV-050-216) 
Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 1 7,242 acre area nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-6). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Unrestricted utilization of the WSA for the projected development of utilities and motorized 
recreational use could physically disturb up to an estimated 400 acres. The natural perception of 
the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, lines, roads) across the 
landscape. Outstanding opportunities for solitude and opportunities for primitive recreation would 
be diminished and, in some instances lost due to the audio and visual distractions from the 



aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. A potential for loss of desert tortoise is anticipated 
as a result of the activities mentioned above. However, the implementation of stringent management 
actions, such as restricted utility development and motorized recreational use, would provide 
protection to maintain a viable population. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action, benefiting 
this activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a 
result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this activity would be negligible. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. 

Under the Proposed Action, an estimated total of up to 400 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat could be lost under full utilization of the WSA for utility development, motorized recreational 
use, and mineral exploration. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 17,242 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-7). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise. 

Motorized recreational use of 75 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 
Less desirable routes would be utilized by potential utility users. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, Category I desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within 
the WSA. 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 (NV-050-217) 

Proposed Action (No Wildemess/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 22,002 acre area nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-8). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Unrestricted utilization of the WSA for the projected development of utilities, motorized recreational 
vehicle use and extraction of sand and gravel could physically disturb up to an estimated 696 acres. 
The natural perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, 
lines, roads) across the landscape. Outstanding opportunities for solitude and opportunities for 
primitive recreation would be diminished and, in some instances lost due to the audio and visual 
distractions from the aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. The penstemon would be 
afforded protection through standard mitigative measures. A potential for loss of desert tortoise is 
anticipated as a result of the activities mentioned above. However, the implementation of stringent 
management actions, such as restricted utility development, motorized recreational use and 

vi 



authorization of sand and gravel material sites, would provide protection to maintain a viable 
population. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action, benefiting 
this activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a 
result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this activity would be negligible. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. However, potential and discretionary management actions 
may restrict maximum development of utilities consequential to categorization of the WSA's desert 
tortoise habitat. 

All lands within the WSA could remain open to the development of material sites. However, potential 
and discretionary management actions may restrict the authorization of any new material sites 
consequential to categorization of the WSA's desert tortoise habitat. 

Under the Proposed Action, an estimated total of up to 696 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat could be lost under full utilization of the WSA for utility development, motorized recreational 
use and sand and gravel extraction. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 22,002 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-9). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise and the 
sensitive plant species. Activities related to the authorized extraction of sand and gravel and 
unauthorized vehicle use would impair naturalness qualities over approximately 50 acres of the WSA. 
Special features would be afforded added protection from wilderness designation by the restriction 
of potential surface disturbing activities. 

Motorized recreational use of 60 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 
Less desirable routes would be utilized by the potential utility users. Full utilization of the existing 
material site within the WSA could occur. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, crucial desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within an 
estimated 99 percent of the WSA. Approximately 50 acres of habitat would be lost to the authorized 
extraction of sand and gravel and unauthorized off-road vehicle use. 



LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 

Proposed Action (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends 13,895 acres suitable for wilderness designation and 20,785 acres 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-10). 



Vli 



CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation and 
the special geological value of Lime Canyon would be retained within 12,905 of the 13,895 acres of 
the recommended suitable portion. Wilderness values on the remaining 985 acres of the suitable 
area would be diminished and, in some instances lost, due to the influence of the projected gypsum 
mining occurring on adjacent public and private lands and occasional unauthorized cross country 
vehicle use. There would be a loss of wilderness values on the 20,785 acres recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation as continued and increasing cross country recreational 
vehicle use, projected mineral development, and oil and gas exploration would negatively impact 
wilderness values. 

Exploration and development of gypsum resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. However, no mineral exploration or development 
of these lands is projected. The development of two gypsum mines are projected to occur within 
the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. There would be no adverse impacts on the 
exploration or development of mineral resources within the WSA. 

Exploration of potential oil and gas resources would be foregone within the recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA. However, neither is projected to occur. The exploration of one well is projected 
within the nonsuitable area; production is not expected. There would be no adverse impacts on the 
exploration of potential energy resources within the WSA under the Proposed Action. 

Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 13,895 acres recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation and approximately 40 visits would be foregone annually. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 34,680 acres of public land in the Lime Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-11). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation and the special features that exist within 1 7,880 of the WSA's 34,680 acres. 
Approximately 615 acres within the WSA would be physically disturbed by the projected activity 
associated with authorized mining and unauthorized vehicle use. The scarification of topography 
and the sights and sounds from heavy equipment associated with the mining would negatively 
impact the natural perception, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, and 
the scenic features of Lime Ridge within approximately 16,800 acres of the WSA. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the WSA. The development of two mines on valid mining claims is projected to occur within the 
WSA under the All Wilderness Alternative. As no other mineral exploration or development within 
the WSA is projected, negative impacts to mineral resources would not occur. 

The exploratory drilling of one oil and gas well projected for the WSA would be foregone. 

Motorized recreational use of 180 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 



viii 



No Wilderness Alternative (No Action Alternative) 

All 34,680 acres of public land in the Lime Canyon WSA would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-12). 

CONCLUSIONS 

The sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased cross country motorized 
recreational use, projected mineral development and oil and gas exploration would contribute to the 
loss of wilderness values on 21,765 acres of the WSA. Special features would be afforded some 
protection through mitigative measures. Wilderness values would be retained within the remaining 
12,915 acres of the WSA as no surface disturbing activities are projected to occur. 

Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. The 
development of two mines for gypsum are projected to occur within the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

Oil and gas resources within the WSA would be available for exploration. The drilling of one 
exploratory well is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected adverse impacts on 
the exploration for energy resources. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit under the No Wilderness Alternative. No adverse impacts 
to this use is expected to occur. 



MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 

Pro posed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 21 ,296 acre area nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-13). 

CONCLUSIONS 

The sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased cross country motorized 
recreational use, projected mineral and oil and gas exploration would contribute to the loss of 
wilderness values on 12,656 acres of the WSA. Wilderness values are expected to be retained within 
the remaining 8,640 acres of the WSA as no surface disturbing activities are anticipated. A potential 
for loss of desert tortoise is anticipated as a result of increased motorized recreational use and oil 
and gas exploration. However, mitigating actions, such as restricted motorized recreational use, the 
removal of tortoise prior to surface disturbance, limited construction of access routes, and the 
reduction of well pads for oil and gas exploration would be implemented. 

Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. The 
exploration of existing mining claims are projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

Oil and gas resources within the WSA would be available for exploration. The drilling of two 
exploratory wells is projected to occur within the WSA. Stringent reclamation measures may be 
placed on exploration activities consequential to categorization of the WSA's tortoise habitat. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action, benefiting 
the activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a 
result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this use would be negligible. 

ix 



Under the Proposed Action, an estimated total of 20 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat 
could be lost under full utilization of the WSA for oil and gas exploration activity and motorized 
recreational use. However, potential impacts adverse to the habitat could be mitigated through the 
implementation of management actions. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 21,296 acres of public land in the Million Hills WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-14). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude, 
and primitive recreation and the special features of desert tortoise and the scenic features of Azure 
Ridge that exist within 21,281 of the WSA's 21,296 acres. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur without wilderness designation would not 
occur due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. Development of base metal resources 
is not projected to take place. 

The exploratory drilling of two oil and gas wells projected for the WSA would be foregone. 

Motorized recreational use of 150 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Designation of the WSA would eliminate the loss of 20 acres and enhance the protection of the 1 ,800 
acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat. 

Alternative A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 11,050 acres of public land would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation and 10,246 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-15). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation and 
the geologically scenic Azure Ridge, would be retained within 11,045 of the 11,050 acres of the 
recommended suitable portion. Wilderness values on the remaining 5 acres of the suitable portion 
would be diminished as a result of unauthorized motorized vehicle use. There would be a loss of 
wilderness values on the 10,246 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation as 
continued and increasing cross country motorized recreational use and the projected exploration 
of oil and gas would negatively impact the area. However, potential adverse impacts to desert 
tortoise could be mitigated by the implementation of stringent management actions. Special 
stipulations and restrictions for oil and gas exploration activities could require the removal of tortoise 
prior to surface disturbance, limited construction of access routes, and the reduction of well pads. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur 
without wilderness designation would not occur due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. 
Development of base metal resources is not projected to take place within either the recommended 
suitable or nonsuitable areas. 



Lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be unavailable for energy 
exploration. However, no oil and gas exploration is projected to occur within this portion of the 
WSA. The drilling of two exploratory wells is projected to occur within the recommended 
nonsuitable area. Stringent reclamation measures may be placed on exploration activities 
consequential to categorization of the WSA's tortoise habitat. 

Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 1 1 ,050 acres recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation and approximately 75 visits would be foregone annually. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under Alternative A, an estimated 20 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat could be lost under 
full utilization of the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA for oil and gas exploration activity 
and motorized recreational use. 



GARRETT BUTTES WSA (NV-050-235) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 1 1 ,835 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-16). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and special features would 
be diminished and, in some instances, lost due to the sights, sounds and surface disturbances 
created by continued and the projected increase in motorized recreational use within the WSA. 
Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse impacts to this 
use is expected to occur. 

Cross country motorized recreational use occurring within the WSA would negatively impact desert 
tortoise directly and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This activity would 
contribute to a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Gold Butte region. Because motorized 
vehicle use will occur in random unpredictable patterns, no impacted acreage figure is estimated. 
Monitoring will be used to measure impacts on tortoise populations and to indicate when and 
where control measures are warranted. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 11,835 acres of public land in the Garrett Buttes WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-17). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise. 

Motorized recreational use of 180 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Impacts on desert tortoise due to motorized vehicle use would be eliminated. 



XI 



QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,145 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-18). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values within the WSA would be negatively impacted under the Proposed Action. The 
projected development of utilities, rail lines, associated access routes, and increased cross country 
vehicle use would physically disturb an estimated 285 acres within the WSA. The natural perception 
of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, lines, roads) and rail 
lines across the landscape. The outstanding opportunities for solitude would be lost due to the 
sights and sounds created by the aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. A viable 
population of desert tortoise would not be maintained within the WSA, as a result of adverse impacts 
from utility and rail line construction. At least 265 acres of Category II desert tortoise habitat will be 
lost due to utility and railroad line construction. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse impacts to this 
use is expected to occur. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are expected to occur. 

The development of a projected rail line could occur as a result of the entire WSA being 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

All WikJemess Alternative 

All 12,145 acres of public land in the Quail Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-19). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise. 

Motorized recreational use of 150 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of a rail line. 
Less desirable routes would be utilized by the Department of Energy and any other potential users. 



XI! 



EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,290 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-20). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation that 
exist within 6,600 acres of the WSA would be diminished and, in some instances, lost. The sights, 
sounds and surface disturbances created by increased motorized recreational use, projected mineral 
exploration and utility construction and maintenance would adversely impact wilderness values. 
Wilderness values would be retained within the remaining 5,690 acres of the WSA. 

Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. The 
exploration of existing mining claims is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse impacts to this 
use is expected to occur. 

The development of an interpretative recreational program would benefit as a result of the entire 
WSA being recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to this use 
are expected to occur. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are expected to occur. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 12,290 acres of public land in the El Dorado WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-21). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude, 
and primitive recreation and the identified special features that exist within 12,257 of the WSA's 
12,290 acres. Approximately 33 acres within the WSA would be physically disturbed by projected 
unauthorized vehicle use. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur without wilderness designation would not 
take place due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. Development of precious metal 
resources is not projected to take place. 

Motorized recreational use of 550 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. Less desirable 
race routes would be utilized on adjacent public lands for competitive motorcycle events. The 
adverse impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

The proposed interpretive program could not be fully implemented under the All Wilderness 
Alternative as interpretive signing would be precluded. Designation of the WSA as wilderness would 
not adversely affect this program. 



XIII 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 
Alternative A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 9,570 acres of public land would be recommended suitable for wilderness designation 
and 2,720 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-22). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, the 
two varieties of penstemon and the special geological value of Gregory's Arch would be retained 
within an estimated 8,970 of the 9,570 acres of the recommended suitable area. Wilderness values 
on the remaining 600 acres of the suitable portion would be diminished and, in some instances lost, 
as a result of unauthorized off-road motorized vehicle use, mineral exploration and utility line 
construction and maintenance projected to occur on adjacent public lands. Wilderness values would 
be lost on the 2,720 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation as continued and 
increased cross country motorized vehicle use, projected mineral exploration and construction of 
utilities would adversely impact the area. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur 
without wilderness designation would not take place due to lack of valid claims if designation occurs. 
Exploration of existing mining claims is projected within the recommended nonsuitable portion of 
the WSA. There are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration of mineral resources within 
this area. Development of precious metal resources is not projected to take place within either the 
recommended suitable or nonsuitable areas. 

Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 9,570 acres recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation and approximately 280 visits would be foregone annually. Less desirable 
race routes would be utilized on adjacent public lands for competitive motorcycle events. The 
adverse impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

The proposed interpretive program could not be fully implemented under Alternative A as interpretive 
signing would be precluded. Designation of the recommended suitable area as wilderness would 
not adversely affect this program. 

Under Alternative A the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. 



IRETEBA PEAKS WSA (NV-05O-438) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 14,994 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-23). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, and any outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within 
4,800 acres of the WSA would be diminished and, in some instances, lost. The sights, sounds and 
surface disturbances created by increased motorized recreational use, projected mineral exploration 
and utility construction and maintenance would negatively impact wilderness values. Wilderness 
values would be retained within the remaining 10,194 acres of the WSA. 

xiv 



Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. The 
exploration for precious metals is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse impacts to this 
use is expected to occur. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

Thirty acres of desert tortoise habitat would be lost as a result of mineral exploration and motorized 
vehicle use. 

AH Wilderness Alternative 

All 14,994 acres of public land in the Ireteba Peaks WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-24). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude, 
and the special features of desert tortoise and sensitive plants that exist within 14,989 of the WSA's 
14,994 acres. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur without wilderness designation would not 
take place due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. Development of precious metal 
resources is not projected to take place. 

Motorized recreational use of 65 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 

Alternative A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 10,155 acres would be recommended suitable for wilderness designation and 4,839 
acres would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-25). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and the sensitive plant 
species would be retained within the 10,155 acres of the recommended suitable area. Wilderness 
values would be lost on the 4,839 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation as 
continued and increased cross country motorized vehicle use, projected mineral exploration and 
construction of utilities would negatively impact the area. 

Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within 
the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Mineral exploration is not projected to occur with 
or without wilderness designation. Exploration for precious metals is projected within the 
recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. There are no projected adverse impacts on the 
exploration of mineral resources within this area. Development of precious metal resources is not 
projected to take place within either the recommended suitable or nonsuitable areas. 

Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 10,155 acres recommended suitable for 

xv 



wilderness designation and approximately 15 visits would be foregone annually. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the recommended nonsuitable area not being 
designated wilderness. No adverse impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

Projected mineral development and vehicle use in the southern portion of the WSA would cause the 
loss of approximately 30 acres of Category II habitat. 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 

Proposed Action (No Wikjemess/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 3,466 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-26). 

CONCLUSIONS 

No long-term negative impacts to naturalness qualities would occur within the Jumbo Springs WSA 
under the Proposed Action. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 3,466 acres of public land in the Jumbo Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-27). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation of the Jumbo Springs WSA would preserve the less than outstanding opportunities for 
solitude and the less than outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation. In 
addition, the naturalness values that exist within the WSA would be retained. 

NELLIS ABC WSA (NV-050-04R-15) 

Proposed Action (No Wildemess/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 5,71 8 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-28). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Wilderness values within the WSA would be negatively impacted under the Proposed Action. The 
projected development of utilities, rail lines, associated access routes, and increased cross country 
vehicle use would physically disturb an estimated 258 acres within the WSA. The natural perception 
of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, lines, roads) and rail 
lines across the landscape. The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation would be lost due to the sights and sounds created by the aforementioned activities 
occurring in the WSA. A viable population of desert tortoise would not be maintained within the 
WSA, as a result of adverse impacts from utility and rail line construction. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse impacts to this 

xvi 



use is expected to occur. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are expected to occur. 

The development of a rail line could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

258 acres of desert tortoise habitat would be lost by development activities. The remaining habitat 
would be seriously fragmented. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 5,718 acres of public land in the Nellis ABC WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-29). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness and would 
enhance the protection of desert tortoise eliminating the loss of 258 acres of habitat. 

Motorized recreational use of 120 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of a rail line. 
Less desirable routes would be utilized by the Department of Energy and any other potential users. 



EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01 R-1 6) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 2,694 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 
2-30). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Utilization of the WSA for the projected development of utilities, motorized recreational vehicle use 
and extraction of sand and gravel could physically disturb up to an estimated 322 acres. The natural 
perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, lines, roads) 
across the landscape. The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation 
would be further diminished due to the audio and visual distractions from the aforementioned 
activities occurring in the WSA. A potential for loss of desert tortoise is anticipated as a result of 
the activities mentioned above. However, the implementation of stringent management actions, 
such as restricted utility development and motorized recreational use, would provide protection to 
maintain a viable population. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action, benefiting 
this activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict this use as a 
result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this activity would be negligible. 

The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being recommended 

xvii 



nonsuitable for wilderness designation. However, potential and discretionary management actions 
may restrict maximum development of utilities consequential to categorization of the WSA's desert 
tortoise habitat. Benefits to potential utility users would be marginal. 

All lands within the WSA could remain open to the development of material sites. There would be 
no impacts on the extraction of materials from the one existing material site. 

Under the Proposed Action, an estimated total of 322 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat could 
be lost under full utilization of the WSA for utility development, motorized recreational vehicle use 
and the extraction of sand and gravel. However, potential impacts adverse to the habitat could be 
mitigated through the implementation of management actions. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 2,694 acres of public land in the Evergreen ABC WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-31). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of naturalness and would 
enhance the protection of desert tortoise. Activities related to the authorized extraction of sand and 
gravel would impair naturalness qualities over approximately 30 acres of the WSA. Desert tortoise 
would be afforded added protection from wilderness designation by the restriction of potential and 
existing surface disturbing activities. 

Motorized recreational use of 35 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the development of utilities. 

Development of material sites within the WSA would not be adversely impacted under the All 
Wilderness Alternative. Full utilization of the existing material site would occur under perpetuity and 
no other material sites are projected to be developed. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, crucial desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within an 
estimated 99 percent of the WSA. Approximately 30 acres of habitat would be lost to the authorized 
extraction of sand and gravel. 



LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA (ISA) 

Proposed Action (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,316 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-32). 

CONCLUSIONS 

The marginal wilderness values of the ISA would be further reduced by the increase in motorized 
use within the area. The special feature of the Lahontan Cutthroat trout would not be affected. 
Existing management would continue to protect the trout habitat. 

There would be no impact on motorized recreational use. 



XVIII 



There would be no negative impact on the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout habitat. 

All Wilderness Alternative 

All 12,316 acres of public land in the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-33). 

CONCLUSIONS 

Designation of the ISA as wilderness would benefit the values of naturalness and solitude by the 
preclusion of off-road, cross country travel within the ISA. However, overall wilderness values would 
remain low. The special feature of the Lahontan Cutthroat trout would be preserved. 

The impacts to motorized recreational use would be negligible, eliminating less than 10 percent of 
the existing use. 

There would be no impact to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout habitat from the designation of the ISA 
as wilderness. 



XIX 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND PLANNING PROCESS 1-1 

PURPOSE 1-1 

NEED 1-1 

WILDERNESS REVIEW 1-1 

Inventory 1-1 

Study 1-5 

Reporting 1-5 

Interim Management 1-5 

CHANGES FROM DRAFT TO FINAL EIS 1-5 

SCOPING AND ISSUE IDENTIFICATION 1-6 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 1-8 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 1-9 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 (NV-050-216) 1-10 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 (NV-050-217) 1-12 

LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 1-13 

MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 1-15 

GARRETT BUTTES WSA (NV-050-235) 1-16 

QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 1-17 

EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 1-19 

IRETEBA PEAKS WSA (NV-050-438) 1-21 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 1-22 

NELLIS ABC WSA (NV-050-04R-15) 1-23 

EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 1-24 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT ISA 1-26 

FORMULATION OF ALTERNATIVES 1-28 

Proposed Action 1-28 

Alternatives to the Proposed Action Selected for Analysis 1-28 

CHAPTER 2 PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 2-1 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 2-1 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 2-1 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-2 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 2-3 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 2-9 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-9 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-10 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 WSA (NV-050-216) . 2-16 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-16 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-17 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 WSA (NV-050-217) 2-22 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-22 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-23 

LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 2-29 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 2-29 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-31 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 2-32 

MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 2-39 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-39 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-40 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 2-41 

GARRETT BUTTES (NV-050-235) 2-48 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-48 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-48 

QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 2-53 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-53 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-54 

EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 2-58 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-58 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-59 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 2-60 

IRETEBA PEAKS (NV-050-438) 2-67 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-67 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-68 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 2-69 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 2-76 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-76 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-76 

NELLIS ABC (NV-050-04R-15) 2-81 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-81 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-82 

EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 2-87 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-87 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-89 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA (ISA) 2-94 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 2-94 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 2-94 



~ nwrnnwmiii iiim iif minium iiiiiiimiii¥tTTtTOiiinairir 



CHAPTER 3 AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 3-1 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 3-1 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 3-4 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 (NV-050-216) 3-4 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 (NV-050-217) 3-4 

LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 3-7 

MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 3-10 

GARRETT BUTTES WSA (NV-050-235) 3-13 

QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-41 1) 3-16 

EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 3-18 

IRETEBA PEAKS WSA (NV-050-438) 3-22 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 3-25 

NELLIS ABC WSA (NV-050-04R-15) 3-27 

EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 3-29 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT ISA 3-31 

CHAPTER 4 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 4-1 

INTRODUCTION 4-1 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 4-1 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 4-1 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-3 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 4-4 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 4-6 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-6 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-8 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 WSA (NV-050-216) 4-10 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-10 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-12 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 WSA (NV-050-217) 4-13 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-13 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-15 

LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 4-17 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 4-17 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-20 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 4-23 

MILLION HBLLS WSA (NV-050-233) 4-26 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-26 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-28 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 4-30 



GARRETT BUTTES (NV-050-235) 4-34 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-34 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-35 

QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 4-37 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-37 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-39 

EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 4-41 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-41 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-44 

IRETEBA PEAKS (NV-050-438) 4-50 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-50 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-52 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 4-54 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 4-58 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-58 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-58 

NELLIS ABC (NV-050-04R-1 5) 4-60 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-60 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-61 

EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 4-63 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-63 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-65 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA (ISA) 4-67 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 4-67 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 4-68 

CHAPTER 5 CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 5-1 

INTRODUCTION 5-1 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT 5-1 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES 5-8 

APPENDICES 



LIST OF MAPS 

CHAPTER ONE • INTRODUCTION AND PLANNING PROCESS 

LOCATION MAP 1-1 

SITE MAP 1-2 

CHAPTER TWO • PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 

MARBLE CANYON 

Map 2-1 Proposed Action 2-6 

Map 2-2 All Wilderness 2-7 

Map 2-3 No Wilderness 2-8 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO.1 

Map 2-4 Proposed Action 2-14 

Map 2-5 All Wilderness 2-15 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 

Map 2-6 Proposed Action 2-20 

Map 2-7 All Wilderness 2-21 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 

Map 2-8 Proposed Action 2-27 

Map 2-9 All Wilderness 2-28 

LIME CANYON 

Map 2-10 Proposed Action 2-36 

Map 2-1 1 All Wilderness 2-37 

Map 2-12 No Wilderness 2-38 

MILLION HILLS 

Map 2-13 Proposed Action 2-45 

Map 2-14 All Wilderness 2-46 

Map 2-15 Alternative A 2-47 

GARRET BUTTES 

Map 2-16 Proposed Action 2-52 

Map 2-17 All Wilderness 2-53 

QUAIL SPRINGS 

Map 2-18 Proposed Action 2-56 

Map 2-19 All Wilderness 2-57 

EL DORADO 

Map 2-20 Proposed Action 2-64 

Map 2-21 All Wilderness 2-65 

Map 2-22 Alternative A 2-66 



IRETEBA PEAKS 

Map 2-23 Proposed Action 2-73 

Map 2-24 All Wilderness 2-74 

Map 2-25 Alternative A 2-75 

JUMBO SPRINGS 

Map 2-26 Proposed Action 2-79 

Map 2-27 All Wilderness 2-80 

NELLIS ABC 

Map 2-28 Proposed Action 2-85 

Map 2-29 All Wilderness 2-86 

EVERGREEN ABC 

Map 2-30 Proposed Action 2-92 

Map 2-31 All Wilderness 2-93 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA 

Map 2-32 Proposed Action 2-97 

Map 2-33 All Wilderness 2-98 

CHAPTER THREE • AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 

MARBLE CANYON 

Map 3-1 Existing Situation 3-34 

Map 3-2 Mineral Favorability 3-35 

Map 3-3 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-36 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 

Map 3-4 Existing Situation . 3-37 

Map 3-5 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-38 

Map 3-6 Mineral Favorability 3-39 

Map 3-7 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-40 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 

Map 3-8 Existing Situation 3-41 

Map 3-9 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-42 

Map 3-10 Mineral Favorability 3-43 

Map 3-1 1 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-44 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 

Map 3-12 Existing Situation 3-45 

Map 3-13 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-46 

Map 3-14 Mineral Favorability 3-47 

Map 3-15 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-48 

LIME CANYON 

Map 3-16 Existing Situation 3-49 

Map 3-17 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-50 

Map 3-18 Mineral Favorability 3-51 

Map 3-19 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-52 



MILLION HILLS 

Map 3-20 Existing Situation 3-53 

Map 3-21 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-54 

Map 3-22 Mineral Favorability 3-55 

Map 3-23 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-56 

GARRETT BUTTES 

Map 3-24 Existing Situation 3-57 

Map 3-25 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-58 

Map 3-26 Mineral Favorability . . -. 3-59 

Map 3-27 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-60 

QUAIL SPRINGS 

Map 3-28 Existing Situation 3-61 

Map 3-29 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-62 

Map 3-30 Mineral Favorability 3-63 

Map 3-31 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-64 

EL DORADO 

Map 3-32 Existing Situation 3-65 

Map 3-33 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-66 

Map 3-34 Mineral Favorability 3-67 

Map 3-35 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-68 

IRETEBA PEAKS 

Map 3-36 Existing Situation 3-69 

Map 3-37 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-70 

Map 3-38 Mineral Favorability 3-71 

Map 3-39 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-72 

JUMBO SPRINGS 

Map 3-40 Existing Situation 3-73 

Map 3-41 Mineral Favorability 3-74 

Map 3-42 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-75 

NELLIS ABC 

Map 3-43 Existing Situation 3-76 

Map 3-44 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-77 

Map 3-45 Mineral Favorability 3-78 

Map 3-46 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-79 

EVERGREEN ABC 

Map 3-47 Existing Situation 3-80 

Map 3-48 Mining Claims and Mineral Leases 3-81 

Map 3-49 Mineral Favorability 3-82 

Map 3-50 Desert Tortoise Habitat 3-83 

LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA 

Map 3-51 Existing Situation 3-84 



LIST OF TABLES 



TABLE 1-1 LISTING OF WSAs AND ISA 1-4 

TABLE 1-2 ISSUE IDENTIFICATION 1-6 

TABLE 1-3 ALTERNATIVES BY WSA 1-29 



TABLE 2-1 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-2 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-3 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-4 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-5 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-6 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-7 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-8 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-9 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-10 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-11 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-12 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-13 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 
TABLE 2-14 COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACTS 



BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 
BY ALTERNATIVE- 



MARBLE CANYON 


. . 2-5 


FISH & WILDLIFE 1 


. 2-13 


FISH & WILDLIFE 2 


. 2-19 


FISH & WILDLIFE 3 


. 2-26 


LIME CANYON . . 


. 2-34 


MILLION HILLS . . 


. 2-43 


GARRETT BUTTES 


. 2-50 


QUAIL SPRINGS . 


. 2-55 


EL DORADO 


. 2-62 


-IRETEBA PEAKS . 


. 2-71 


-JUMBO SPRINGS 


. 2-78 


-NELLIS ABC 


. 2-84 


-EVERGREEN ABC 


. 2-91 


-LAHONTAN ISA . 


. 2-96 



TABLE 5-1 AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND PERSONS TO WHOM THE DRAFT EIS WAS SENT 5-2 

TABLE 5-2 LIST OF COMMENTORS 5-9 

TABLE 5-3 LIST OF PREPARERS 5-102 



CHAPTER 1 

INTRODUCTION AND PLANNING PROCESS 



PURPOSE 

The purpose of the Proposed Action in two of the wilderness study areas (WSAs) examined in this EIS, as 
the Wilderness Act states, "Is to secure for the American people of present and future generations the 
benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness." In 12 of the WSAs the purpose is to manage for uses other 
than wilderness. This document analyzes the potential impacts of designating or not designating as 
wilderness all or portions of 13 WSAs and one Instant Study Area in Clark, Lincoln, White Pine, and 
Humboldt Counties, Nevada. The Proposed Action represents the BLM's preliminary recommendations for 
these 13 WSAs and one Instant Study Area as they were developed through the Bureau planning system. 

NEED 

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) directs the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM) to manage the public lands and their resources under the principles of multiple use and sustained 
yield. Section 603 of FLPMA requires a wilderness review of BLM roadless areas containing 5,000 or more 
acres and roadless islands; and the reporting of recommendations on those areas formally identified as 
primitive or natural areas (Instant Study Areas). The BLM inventory process identified WSAs which have the 
mandatory wilderness characteristics of size, naturalness, and opportunities for solitude and/or primitive 
recreation under Section 603 of FLPMA (lands containing 5,000 acres) and Section 202 of FLPMA (lands 
containing less than 5,000 acres). Suitable or nonsuitable wilderness recommendations for each WSA will 
be presented to the President by the Secretary of the Interior. The President will then make 
recommendations to the Congress. Areas can be designated wilderness only by an act of Congress. If 
designated as wilderness, an area would be managed in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964 and 
the Bureau's Wilderness Management Policy. 

The 13 WSAs and one ISA being studied are listed in Table 1-1. The WSAs and ISA are located in the 
BLM's Stateline and Caliente Resource Areas of the Las Vegas District; the Schell Resource Area of the Ely 
District; and the Sonoma-Gerlach and Paradise-Denio Resource Areas of the Winnemucca District. The 
Location Map shows the relative location of the planning areas in relation to the State of Nevada. 

WILDERNESS REVIEW 
INVENTORY 

The inventory phase identified areas with wilderness characteristics, as defined in the Wilderness Act of 
1 964, and designated them as WSAs. Guidelines for conducting the inventory phase were set forth primarily 
in the BLM's "Wilderness Inventory Handbook" of 1978. 

Areas under consideration as wilderness were evaluated for the features described below: 

WILDERNESS VALUES 

The following key factors were considered when roadless areas with wilderness characteristics were 
identified: 

Size: The area must have at least 5,000 contiguous roadless acres of public land. 
Naturalness: Human imprints must be substantially unnoticeable. 

Outstanding Opportunities: The area must offer either an outstanding opportunity for solitude or 
an outstanding opportunity for primitive and unconfined recreation. 



1- 1 



5. 
6. 
7. 
8. 
9. 
10. 




1. LAHONTAN ISA 

2. MARBLE CANYON NV-040-08 

3. EVERGREEN NV-050-01R- 

16A,16B,16C 
4- NELLIS NV-050-04R-15A,15B,15C 
FISH & WILDLIFE #1 NV-050-201 
FISH & WILDLIFE #2 NV-050-216 
FISH & WILDLIFE #3 NV-050-217 
LIME CANYON NV-050-231 
MILLION HILLS NV050-233 
GARRETT BUTTES NV-050-235 

11. JUMBO SPRINGS NV-050-236 

12. QUAIL SPRINGS NV-050-411 

13. EL DORADO NV-050-423 
I 4. IRETEBA PEAKS NV-050-438 



A, B and C refers to Map 1-2 following this page. 



1-2 



MAP 1-1 

WILDERNESS STUDY AREA 

LOCATION MAP 



Red areas refer 
to numbered WSAs 
on Map 1-1. 




k ft 


\ I 


/ n 


> 


• <Ht Mtr.'/i 


2>TEIy 






m 




Z 




\ " *" 




< 






z 




Xund ^ 


-r J 


/ r 

/ m 1 


CI 




H) U 


o / 


/ "* 










\ 






rv. 




\ 








■ 50 


4 


9 


■ ■ 


SCHELI 


JR.A. 


i 


\ 


i( 




*A \ 


\ 


< 


® 




i\ ' 







MAP 1-2 



1-3 



TABLE 1-1 
LISTING OF WSAS AND ISA 



WSA Name 


Management 

Framework 

Plan 


Acreage 


District 




Marble Canyon (NV040-086) 
(formerly Granite Spgs.) 


Schell 


19,150 


Ely 




Fish & Wildlife No. 1 
(NV050-201) 


Clark/ 
Caliente 


1 1 ,090 


Las Vegas 




Fish & Wildlife No. 2 
(NV050-216) 


Clark 


17,242 


Las Vegas 




Fish & Wildlife No. 3 
(NV050-217) 


Clark 


22,002 


Las Vegas 




Lime Canyon (NV050-231) 


Clark 


34,680 


Las Vegas 




Million Hills (NV050-233) 


Clark 


21,296 


Las Vegas 




Garrett Buttes (NV050-235) 


Clark 


11,835 


Las Vegas 




Quail Springs (NV050-411) 


Clark 


12,145 


Las Vegas 




El Dorado (NV050-423) 


Clark 


12,290 


Las Vegas 




Ireteba Peaks (NV050-438) 


Clark 


14,994 


Las Vegas 




Jumbo Springs (NV050-236) 


Clark 


3,466 a/ 


Las Vegas 




Nellis ABC (NV050-04R-15) 


Clark 


5,718 a/ 


Las Vegas 




Evergreen ABC (NV050-01R-16) 


Caliente 


2,694 a/ 


Las Vegas 




Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 
Natural Area (ISA) 

TOTAL 


Sonoma-Gerlach 
Paradise-Denio 


12,316 
200,918 Acres 


Winnemucca 





a/ 202s- Each area is divided into subunit's of less than 5,000 acres. The areas do not meet the 5,000 acre 
size criteria (continuous roadless lands) under Section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA). These WSAs qualify under Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act. 



1-4 



During wilderness inventory, the BLM also considered the extent to which each of the following wilderness 
values was present: 

Special Features: Ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic or 
historical value. 

Multiple Resource Benefits: The benefits to other multiple resource values and uses that only 
wilderness designation could ensure. 

STUDY 

During the study phase, the BLM determined through careful analysis which study areas would be 
recommended as suitable for wilderness designation and which would not. Recommendations for the 14 
areas being studied for wilderness were made through the BLM's multiple use resource planning process. 
The BLM's planning regulations and its final wilderness study policy guided the study process. 

REPORTING 

The reporting phase begins after completion of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS). A 
wilderness study report (WSR) is prepared to address the results of the study and make preliminary 
recommendations as to the designation or nondesignation of each WSA and ISA. 

Recommendations for the WSAs and the ISA as suitable or nonsuitable for designation as wilderness will 
be reported through the Director of the BLM to the Secretary of the Interior, and through the Secretary of 
the Interior to the President, who will make his recommendation to Congress. Only Congress can designate 
an area as wilderness. 

INTERIM MANAGEMENT 

Until Congress acts, the BLM's Interim Management Policy and Guidelines for Lands Under Wilderness 

Review (1979; rev. 1983, 1987) serves as the principal document for managing the 13 WSAs and one ISA 
in the Clark, Caliente, Schell, Sonoma-Gerlach and Paradise-Denio Resource Areas. The goal of the interim 
management policy is to ensure that the wilderness qualities inherent to each WSA are unchanged at the 
time that Congress makes its final decisions. 

CHANGES FROM DRAFT EIS TO FINAL EIS 

As a result of public comments received on the draft EIS and actions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
several changes occur within the Final EIS. 

On August 4, 1989 the desert tortoise (Gopherus aaassizii ) was emergency listed as an endangered species 
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The impacts to desert tortoise, desert tortoise habitat and proposed 
actions within desert tortoise habitat were re-analyzed and expanded throughout the document. Proposed 
actions have been modified and mitigating measures listed. 

A commentor stated that the motorized recreational use projected to occur within those WSAs located in 
the Gold Butte area (Lime Canyon, Million Hills and Garrett Butte) and the Ireteba Peaks WSA were highly 
inflated. The projections for the El Dorado WSA were felt to be somewhat low. Therefore, motorized visitor 
use projections were adjusted for these WSAs. The adjusted projections are reflected in Chapters 2 3 and 
4. 

Impacts to motorized recreational use under the All Wilderness Alternative were reassessed for the El 
Dorado WSA as a result of public comment. The commentor stated that the impacts of shifting use from 
the western portion of the El Dorado WSA would be significant to motorcycle racing in southern Nevada. 
The changes reflecting this statement are addressed under the "Impacts on Motorized Recreational Use" 
section in Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences. 

Two desert bighorn sheep water developments have been proposed within the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA. 

1-5 



This proposal has been addressed in the document within Chapters 2, 3, and 4. 

SCOPING AND ISSUE IDENTIFICATION 

The scoping process for the Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness EIS encompassed issues identified by 
BLM staff and by the public during a formal scoping comment period on issue identification in Reno, Las 
Vegas and Ely (August 1987). The following is a list of environmental issues identified for analysis in 
the EIS for the WSAs. (See Table 1-2). 

Table 1-2 
Issue Identification 



WSA Impacts on Wilderness Impacts on Exp. & Impacts on Existing Impacts on Exp. for Impacts on Levels of 

Dev. of Mineral Material Site Oil and Gas Motorized Recreation 



Values 



Marble Canyon 



Fish & Wildlife #1 



Fish & Wildlife #2 



Fish & Wildlife #3 



Lime Canyon 



Million Hills 



Garrett Buttes 



Quail Springs 



El Dorado 



Ireteba Peaks 



Jumbo Springs 



Nellis ABC 



Evergreen ABC 



Lahontan ISA 



Resources Rights-of-way Use 



1-6 



Table 1-2 Continued 
issue Identification 



WSA 


Impacts on 

Recreation 

Management 


Impacts on Livestock 

Developments and 

Maintenance 


Impacts on Utility 
Line Development 


Impacts on 
Railroad Line 
Development 


Impacts on Threatene 
& Endangered Specie 
Desert Tortoise & 
LCT Habitat 


Marble Canyon 










X 










Fish & Wildlife #1 










X 








X 


Fish & Wildlife #2 










X 








X 


Fish & Wildlife #3 










X 








X 


Lime Canyon 


















X 


Million Hills 


















X 


Garrett Buttes 


















X 


Quail Sprinqs 










X 




X 




X 


El Dorado 


X 








X 








X 


Ireteba Peaks 










X 








X 


Jumbo Sprinqs 


















X 


Nellis ABC 










X 




X 




X 


Everqreen ABC 










X 








X 


Lahontan ISA 


















X 



1- 7 



MARBLE CANYON WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could affect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness areas could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Wilderness designation 
could affect grazing management operations by precluding the construction of water developments 
and the use of motorized vehicles. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

4. Impacts on the Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Upon close examination, levels of 
motorized recreational use in the Marble Canyon WSA were determined not to be significant enough 
to be analyzed in the EIS. The area is either too rugged for motorized vehicle access or it does not 
offer exceptional opportunities to warrant motorized recreational use. 

5. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

6. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified within the WSA. The 
WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently listed or proposed for 
nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not expected that impacts to 
cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would vary as a result 
of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to any surface-disturbing activity such as mineral and seismic exploration, range 
improvement development or wildlife developments, etc., a cultural resource inventory is required. 
For any cultural resources identified during the inventory, mitigating measures would be proposed 
to preserve the scientific information and/or lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given 
to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), to identify those properties which are eligible or 
potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to 
protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The 
framework for this policy is encompassed by a body of surface protection and antiquities legislation. 
Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural resources would be approximately the same and 
these cultural resources would be protected and managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines 
and legislative mandates. 

7. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep and Antelope. Management 
of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and antelope and the construction and maintenance of water 
developments were concerns identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy 

1-8 



provides for both the re-establishment of native species, management of current populations and 
the development of waters. Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are 
developed and subsequent maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such 
restrictions would not significantly affect management and water development activities. 

8. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species. Wildlife and vegetation inventories did not 
identify any listed threatened or endangered species within the WSA. Notification of Scoping was 
sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and no additional information was received regarding this 
issue. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of two developed seeps. The issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by 
wilderness designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for this WSA. The 
impacts of existing or projected activities, such as mineral exploration and development, on the 
quality and quantity of water sources would be negligible. 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness areas could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, and rocks and mineral 
collecting access, and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized 
recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

4. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. The route along Highway 93 is the natural course for north-south interregional 
utilities which tie into the Navajo-McCullough Substation, Las Vegas or the Hoover Dam facilities, 
and has received considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The Fish and 
Wildlife No. 1 WSA lies astride this route. To the west and east, other WSAs, the Desert National 
Game Range and topography severely restrict alternative routes through or to southern Nevada. 

5. Impacts on Existing Material Site Rights-of-way. Wilderness designation could affect usage 
(extraction of sand and gravel) of two material site rights-of-way granted in perpetuity by BLM to the 
Nevada Department of Transportation. 

6. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fish 
and Wildlife No. 1 WSA contains Category 1 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could 
benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not 
designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 



1-9 



7. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

8. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, possible water sources consist of two abandoned 
wells. Therefore, the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness 
designation or nondesignation within the area will not be considered for this WSA. 

10. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised 
that livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned 
range projects. No range projects exist within the WSA and none are proposed. 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, rock and mineral 
collecting access and vehicle camping in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized 
recreational uses currently occurring in the WSAs to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. The route along Highway 93 is the natural course for north-south interregional 
utilities which tie into the Navajo-McCullough Substation, Las Vegas, or the Hoover Dam facilities 
and has received considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The Fish and 
Wildlife No. 2 WSA lies astride this route from Highway 93, westerly. To the west and east, other 
WSAs, the Desert National Game Range and topography severely restrict alternative routes through 



or to southern Nevada. 

4. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fish 
and Wildlife No. 2 WSA contains Category 1 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could 
benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not 
designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

5. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

6. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

7. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified within the WSA. The 
WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently listed or proposed for 
nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not expected that impacts to 
cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would vary as a result 
of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

8. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, no water sources have been identified. Therefore, 
the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness designation or 
nondesignation within the area will not be considered for this WSA. 

1-11 



10. Impacts on Livestock Development and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. However, no range projects exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, rocks and minerals 
collecting access, racing, vehicle camping and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use 
would shift motorized recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. The route along Highway 93 is the natural course for north-south interregional 
utilities which tie into the Navajo-McCullough Substation, Las Vegas, or the Hoover Dam facilities 
and has received considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The Fish and 
Wildlife No. 3 WSA lies astride this route from Highway 93, westerly. To the west and east, other 
WSAs, the Desert National Game Range and topography severely restrict alternative routes through 
or to southern Nevada. 

4. Impacts on Existing Material Site Right-of-way. Wilderness designation could affect usage 
(extraction of sand and gravel) of one material site right-of-way granted in perpetuity by BLM to 
the Nevada Department of Transportation. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fish 
and Wildlife No. 3 WSA contains Category 1 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could 
benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not 
designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

7. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

8. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified within the WSA. The 
WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently listed or proposed for 
nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not expected that impacts to 

1-12 



cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would vary as a result 
of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 81 00.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

9. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

10. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of two abandoned wells. The issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by 
wilderness designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for this WSA. 

11. Impacts on Livestock Development and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. No range projects exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

LIME CANYON 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. In addition, those uses and actions occurring on 
or projected to take place on those private lands located within the borders of the WSA, may 
adversely effect their wilderness values. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness areas could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on the Level of Exploration for Oil and Gas. Wilderness designation could effect 
exploration for potential oil and gas resources by withdrawing designated lands from energy leasing. 

4. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, rocks and mineral 

1-13 



access, vehicle camping and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized 
recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Lime 
Canyon WSA contains uncategorized tortoise habitat. If desert tortoise occur in this WSA, they and 
their habitat could benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions 
if the WSA is not designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc.! 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 81 00.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

7. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

8. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of a developed spring. The issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness 
designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for this WSA. 

9. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because the BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for the continued maintenance of grazing facilities and 
the construction of planned range projects. 

The maintenance of two existing fence lines, one developed spring and a small earthen reservoir 
would continue within the WSA subject to reasonable controls and restrictions. Restrictions and 
controls would be placed on the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment and mechanical 
transport. 

1-14 



10. Impacts on Private Inholdings. The impact of wilderness designation or nondesignation on 
private land inholdings in the WSA (838 acres) was considered as an issue but dropped from 
detailed analysis. BLM's Wilderness Management Policy provides for adequate access to non- 
federal lands completely surrounded by a wilderness area. Such access would be a combination 
of routes and modes of travel which will cause the least lasting impact on the wilderness resource 
and, at the same time, serve the reasonable purposes for which the non-federal lands are held or 
used. Presently, a permanent access route does not exist through the WSA to the 838 acre private 
inholding. Development of access is projected for the three separate parcels of private inholdings 
located within the WSA. 

MILLION HILLS WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness areas could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on the Level of Exploration for Oil and Gas. Wilderness designation could effect 
exploration for potential oil and gas resources by withdrawing designated lands from energy leasing. 

4. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, rock and mineral access, 
vehicle camping, and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized 
recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Million 
Hills WSA contains both Category 1 and uncategorized tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their 
habitat could benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the 
WSA is not designated wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 

1-15 



Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

7. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

8. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of two developed and one undeveloped springs. The issue of how water quality and quantity would 
be affected by wilderness designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for 
this WSA. There were no existing or projected activities that were found to adversely impact the 
quality and quantity of the water sources. 

9. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because the BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for the continued maintenance of grazing facilities and 
the construction of planned range projects. The maintenance of two existing fencelines and two 
developed springs would continue within the WSA subject to reasonable controls and restrictions. 
Restrictions and controls would be placed on the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment and 
mechanical transport. 

GARRETT BUTTES WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting and trapping access, vehicle 
camping and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational 
uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Garrett 
Buttes WSA contains uncategorized tortoise habitat. If desert tortoise occur in this WSA, they and 
their habitat could benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions 
if the WSA is not designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

4. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 

1-16 



mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

5. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

6. Impacts on Reproduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

7. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of five developed seeps and springs. The issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected 
by wilderness designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for this WSA. 
There were no existing or projected activities that were found to adversely impact the quality and 
quantity of the water sources. 

8. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because the BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for the continued maintenance of grazing facilities and 
the construction of planned range projects. The construction of a proposed fenceline and the 
maintenance of five existing developed springs would continue within the WSA subject to reasonable 
controls and restrictions. Restrictions and controls would be placed on facility design, location and 
materials; and the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment and mechanical transport. 

QUAIL SPRINGS WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 

1-17 



the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting and trapping access and off-road 
driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational uses currently occurring 
in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. A route paralleling Highway 95 is the natural course for southeast-northwest utilities 
between the Nevada Test Site and Las Vegas and has received considerable attention from potential 
users and land managers. The Quail Springs WSA lies astride this route. To the north and south 
the Desert National Game Range and private lands severely restrict alternative routes through or to 
southern Nevada. 

4. Impacts on Development of a Railroad Line. Wilderness designation could affect the use of 
land for a transportation corridor. A route north of Las Vegas has been identified by the Department 
of Energy as a natural course for a northwest-southeast railroad line which would tie into Yucca 
Mountain and a major railroad in Las Vegas. The Quail Springs WSA lies astride this route. To the 
north and south the Desert National Game Range and private lands severely restrict alternative 
routes. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Quail 
Spring WSA contains Category 2 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could benefit from 
wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not designated 
as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

7. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

8. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified along the WSA's 
southern border. The WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently 
listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not 
expected that impacts to cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated 
uses would vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 



. .:.. .'■.. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■; ■■■■. . ■.. .■ :■..: 



cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. No water sources are known to exist within the WSA. Therefore, 
the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness designation or 
nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for this WSA. 

EL DORADO WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. In addition, those uses and actions occurring on 
or projected to take place on those private lands located within the borders of the WSA, may 
adversely effect their wilderness values. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect exploration for and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting, trapping, rocks and minerals 
collecting access, racing, vehicle camping and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use 
would shift motorized recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

A, Impacts on Recreational Management within the El Dorado WSA. Planning efforts proposed 
the development of a recreational interpretative program by developing trails and placing signs within 
the WSA. The impact of wilderness designation on the projected activity is an issue to be analyzed 
for this WSA. 

5. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. The route north of Highway 60 is the natural course for east-west interregional 
utilities which tie into either the Navajo-McCullough Substation or the Hoover Dam facilities and has 
received considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The El Dorado WSA lies 
astride this route. To the north and south withdrawals, private lands and development severely 
restrict alternative routes through or to southern Nevada. 

6. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 
Eldorado WSA contains Category 3 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could benefit 
from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not 
designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

7. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 

1-19 



vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 81 00.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

8. Impacts on Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert bighorn sheep and the 
construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns identified during scoping. The 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re-establishment of native species, 
management of current populations and the development of waters. Although there may be some 
restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent maintenance activities as a 
result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly affect management, re- 
establishment and water development activities. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of one developed and one undeveloped spring. The issue of how water quality and quantity would 
be affected by wilderness designation or nondesignation within the areas will not be considered for 
this WSA. There were no existing or projected activities that were found to adversely impact the 
quality and quantity of the water sources. 

10. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised 
that livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned 
range projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because no livestock 
developments are planned for the WSA and the BLM's Wilderness Management Policy provides 
for the continued maintenance of the one existing developed spring. The maintenance of the one 
existing spring would continue within the WSA subject to reasonable controls and restrictions. 
Restrictions and controls would be placed on the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment and 
mechanical transport. 

11. Impacts on Private Inholdings. The impact of wilderness designation or nondesignation on 
private land inholdings in the WSA (120 acres) was considered as an issue but dropped from 
detailed analysis. BLM's Wilderness Management Policy provides for adequate access to non- 
federal lands completely surrounded by a wilderness area. Such access would be a combination 
of routes and modes of travel which will cause the least lasting impact on the wilderness resource 
and, at the same time, serve the reasonable purposes for which the non-federal lands are held or 
used. 

Presently, a permanent access route does not exist through the WSA to the 120 acre private 
inholding. An access route into the inholdings is projected as interest has been shown in developing 
the 120 acre parcel. 



1-20 



IRETEBA PEAKS WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of potential and known mineral resources 
by withdrawing designated lands from mineral entry. Development of existing mineral resources 
within designated wilderness could be affected by wilderness management restrictions. 

3. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting and trapping access, vehicle 
camping and off-road driving in the WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational 
uses currently occurring in the WSA to adjacent lands. 

4. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility development. A route for a transmission line has been identified by the Southern California 
Edison Company, along the northern boundary of the Ireteba Peaks WSA. The proposed 
transmission line would be an extension of an existing line. Therefore, the impact of wilderness 
designation on land use for utilities in the Ireteba Peaks WSA is an issue analyzed in this EIS. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Ireteba 
Peaks WSA contains Category 2 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could benefit from 
wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not designated 
as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 81 00.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

7. Impacts on Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert bighorn sheep and the 

1-21 



construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns identified during scoping. The 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re-establishment of native species, 
management of current populations and the development of waters. Although there may be some 
restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent maintenance activities as a 
result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly affect management, re- 
establishment and water development activities. 

8. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, water sources are extremely limited and consist 
of five undeveloped seeps and springs. The issue of how water quality and quantity would be 
affected by wilderness designation or nondesignation will not be considered because no activities 
were found to adversely impact the quality and quantity of the water sources. 

9. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. No range facilities exist within or are proposed for the WSA. Therefore, this issue will not 
be analyzed in the EIS for this WSA. 

JUMBO SPRINGS WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

2. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could affect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

3. Impacts on the Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Upon close examination, levels of 
motorized recreational use in the Marble Canyon WSA were determined not to be significant enough 
to be analyzed in the EIS. The area is either too rugged for motorized vehicle access or it does not 
offer exceptional opportunities to warrant motorized recreational use. Therefore, this issue will not 
be analyzed for this WSA. 

4. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 

1-22 



cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

5. Impacts on Reintroduction and Management of Bighorn Sheep. Management of Desert 
bighorn sheep and the construction and maintenance of water developments were concerns 
identified during scoping. The Wilderness Management Policy provides for both the re- 
establishment of native species, management of current populations and the development of waters. 
Although there may be some restrictions placed on the way waters are developed and subsequent 
maintenance activities as a result of wilderness designation, such restrictions would not significantly 
affect management, re-establishment and water development activities. 

6. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Jumbo 
Springs WSA contains uncategorized tortoise habitat. If desert tortoise occur in this WSA, they and 
their habitat could benefit from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions 
if the WSA is not designated as wilderness. 

7. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, no water sources have been identified. Therefore, 
the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness designation or 
nondesignation within the area will not be considered for this WSA. 

8. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. However, no range projects exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

NELLIS ABC WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting access and off-road driving in the 
WSA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational uses currently occurring in the WSA 
to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. A route paralleling Highway 95 is the natural course for northwest-southeast 
interregional utilities which between the Nevada Test Site and Las Vegas and has received 
considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The Nellis ABC WSA lies astride 
this route. To the north and south the Desert National Game Range and private lands severely 
restrict alternative routes through or to southern Nevada. 

4. Impacts on Development of a Railroad Line. Wilderness designation could affect the use of 
land for a transportation corridor. A route north of Las Vegas has been identified by the Department 
of Energy as a natural course for a northwest-southeast railroad line which would tie into Yucca 
Mountain and a major railroad in Las Vegas. The Nellis ABC WSA lies astride this route. To the 
north and south the Desert National Game Range and private lands severely restrict alternative 
routes. 



1-23 



5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Nellis 
ABC WSA contains Category 2 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could benefit from 
wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not designated 
as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

7. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

8. Impacts on Cultural Resources. The WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources 
that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic 
Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. It is not expected that impacts to 
any unidentified cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would 
vary as a result of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed- and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 81 00.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the WSA, no water sources have been identified. Therefore, 
the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness designation or 
nondesignation within the area will not be considered for the WSA. 

EVERGREEN WSA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

I. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the WSA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the WSA not be designated wilderness. 

1-24 



2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting and trapping access, vehicle 
camping, and off-road driving. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational uses currently 
occurring in the WSAs to adjacent lands. 

3. Impacts on Development of Utilities. Wilderness designation could affect the use of land for 
utility corridors. The route along Highway 93 is the natural course for north-south interregional 
utilities which tie into either the Navajo-McCullough Substation, Las Vegas, or the Hoover Dam 
facilities and has received considerable attention from potential users and land managers. The 
Evergreen ABC WSA lies astride this route. To the west and east, other WSAs, the Desert National 
Game Range and topography severely restrict alternative routes through or to southern Nevada. 

4. Impacts on Existing Material Site Right-of-way. Wilderness designation could affect usage 
(extraction of sand and gravel) of one material site right-of-way granted in perpetuity by BLM to 
the Nevada Department of Transportation. 

5. Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. The desert tortoise has 
been emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 
Evergreen WSA contains Category 1 tortoise habitat. Desert tortoise and their habitat could benefit 
from wilderness designation or be impacted by surface disturbing actions if the WSA is not 
designated as wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

6. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Wilderness 
designation could effect the exploration and development of mineral resources by withdrawing 
designated lands from mineral entry. However, no exploration or development of known or potential 
mineral resources is projected to occur within the WSA. 

7. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 
a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

8. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified within the WSA. The 
WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently listed or proposed for 
nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not expected that impacts to 
cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would vary as a result 
of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and/or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 

1-25 



of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

9. Impacts on Water Sources. No water sources are known to exist within the WSA. Therefore, 
the issue of how water quality and quantity would be affected by wilderness designation or 
nondesignation within the area will not be considered for this WSA. 

10. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised 
that livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned 
range projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because no livestock 
developments are planned for the WSA and the BLM's Wilderness Management Policy provides 
for the continued maintenance of the one existing earthen reservoir. 

The maintenance of the one existing small earthen reservoir would continue within the WSA subject 
to reasonable controls and restrictions. Restrictions and controls would be placed on the use of 
motor vehicles, motorized equipment and mechanical transport. 



LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT (LCT) ISA 

The following issues were selected for detailed analysis. 

1. Impacts on Wilderness Values. The wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation, and various special features of the ISA could benefit from wilderness 
designation. The same values may be adversely affected by uses and actions that would occur 
should the ISA not be designated wilderness. In addition, those uses and actions occurring on or 
projected to take place on those private lands located within the borders of the ISA, may adversely 
effect their wilderness values. 

2. Impacts on Levels of Motorized Recreational Use. Wilderness designation would eliminate 
the cross country, off-road use of motorized vehicles for hunting and trapping access, and vehicle 
camping in the ISA. Eliminating this use would shift motorized recreational uses currently occurring 
in the ISA to adjacent lands. The impact of wilderness designation on motorized recreational use 
within the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA is an issue for analysis. 

3. Impacts on the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (LCT) - Threatened Species Habitat. The LCT is 

currently listed as a threatened species on the Federal list of "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants". The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Instant Study Area was officially designated as a Natural 
Area in 1973 for the specific purpose of ensuring the preservation of the Lahontan Cutthroat trout 
in its natural habitat, and to maximize available spawning areas. The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 
threatened species habitat available within the ISA could benefit from wilderness designation. This 
habitat may be adversely affected by uses and actions that could occur should the ISA not be 
designated wilderness. 

The following issues were identified in scoping but were not selected for detailed analysis 
for this WSA. The reasons for setting aside each of the issues are discussed below: 

4. Impacts on Exploration for and Development of Non-Energy Mineral Resources. Due to 

the mineral segregation of 1968, there is no mineral activity allowed in the ISA. As there will be 
no change in the existing situation, this issue will not be analyzed for this WSA. 

5. Impacts on Military Overflights. Concerns were raised by the U.S. Air Force as to what affect 
wilderness designation would have on low-level military flights over the WSA. The Wilderness 
Management Policy states "Where low (military) overflight is a problem, or expected to become 

1-26 



a problem, wilderness management plans will provide for liaison with proper military authorities, the 
Federal Aviation Administration, and contact with pilots in the general area in an effort to reduce low 
flight." 

6. Impacts on Cultural Resources. Cultural resources have been identified within the WSA. The 
WSA does not posses any prehistoric or historic resources that are currently listed or proposed for 
nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not expected that impacts to 
cultural resources within the area, occurring from casual or unregulated uses would vary as a result 
of wilderness designation or nondesignation. 

In addition, prior to approval of any surface-disturbing activity such as a mining plan of operation, 
application to drill, seismic exploration, utility development or range improvement development, etc., 
BLM requires completion of a cultural resource inventory. For any cultural resources identified 
during the inventory, mitigating measures such as avoidance, salvage collection, formal study, 
excavation, etc., would be proposed and implemented to preserve the scientific information and /or 
lessen the physical impacts. The consideration given to cultural resources is in accord with Bureau 
responsibilities toward Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800), 
to identify those properties which are eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National 
Register of Historic Places. Bureau policy is to protect, manage, and avoid inadvertent loss of 
cultural resources (BLM Manual 8100.06). The framework for this policy is encompassed by a body 
of surface protection and antiquities legislation. Thus under any alternative, impacts to cultural 
resources would be approximately the same and these cultural resources would be protected and 
managed in accordance with Bureau guidelines and legislative mandates. 

7. Impacts on Other Threatened and Endangered Species. Wildlife and vegetation inventories 
did not identify any other listed threatened or endangered species within the WSA. Notification of 
Scoping was sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and no additional information was received 
regarding this issue. Therefore, this issue will not be analyzed for this WSA. 

8. Impacts on Water Sources. Within the ISA, water sources are numerous and consist of 
developed and undeveloped springs and a small reservoir. No surface disturbing activities are 
projected to occur within the WSA that would impact the quality and quantity of the existing water 
sources. 

9. Impacts on Livestock Developments and Maintenance Activities. Concerns were raised that 
livestock operators would not be able to maintain their grazing facilities or construct planned range 
projects. This issue was considered but dropped from detailed analysis because the BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy provides for the continued maintenance of the existing fencelines, 
developed springs and small reservoirs. 

Maintenance of the several existing fencelines and developed springs and the four small reservoirs 
would continue within the designated wilderness area under reasonable controls and restrictions. 
Restrictions and controls would be placed on the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment and 
mechanical transport. 

10. Impacts on Private Inholdings. The impact of wilderness designation or nondesignation on 
private land inholdings in the ISA (1,256 acres) was considered as an issue but dropped from 
detailed analysis. BLM's Wilderness Management Policy provides for adequate access to non- 
federal lands completely surrounded by a wilderness area. Such access would be a combination 
of routes and modes of travel which will cause the least lasting impact on the wilderness resource 
and, at the same time, serve the reasonable purposes for which the non-federal lands are held or 
used. 

Established access routes cross the WSA into several of the private inholdings, as the parcels have 

1-27 



been developed to some degree. One small parcel located near the southern border of the ISA 
does not currently have any establish permanent access route. It is projected that road access will 
be developed to the parcel. 

FORMULATION OF ALTERNATIVES 

Proposed Action 

Development of the Proposed Action is guided by requirements of the Bureau's Planning Regulations, 43 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 1600. The BLM's Wilderness Study Policy (published February 
3, 1982, in the Federal Register ) supplements the planning regulations by providing the specific factors to 
be considered in developing suitability recommendations during the planning sequence. 

The Proposed Action(s) recommend as suitable for wilderness designation those WSAs or portions of WSAs 
with high quality wilderness values. Under the Proposed Action(s), 22,195 acres would be recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation. This includes partial recommendations of 8,300 acres for Marble 
Canyon; and 13,895 acres for Lime Canyon. The remaining eleven WSAs and the ISA were not 
recommended. (See Table 1-3). 

Alternatives to the Proposed Action Selected for Analysis 

The BLM Wilderness Study Policy calls for the formulation and evaluation of alternatives ranging from 
resource protection to resource production. The alternatives assessed in this EIS include: (1) an All 
Wilderness Alternative for each WSA; (2) a No Wilderness Alternative for each WSA; and (3) a Partial 
Wilderness Altemative(s) for five WSAs. 

In this document, the No Action Alternative, as required by the National Environmental Protection Act, and 
the No Wilderness Alternative are equivalent. Both advocate continuation of management as outlined in the 
existing Management Framework Plan and recommends the WSA as nonsuitable for wilderness. 

The All Wilderness Alternative represents the maximum possible acreage that could be recommended as 
suitable for wilderness designation. 

Partial Wilderness Alternative (s) can make suitable or nonsuitable recommendations ranging between the 
All Wilderness and No Action Alternatives. A Partial Wilderness Alternative can recommend as suitable for 
wilderness designation something less than the entire acreage of one WSA. 



1-28 



Table 1-3 
Alternatives By WSA 



WSA /Alternatives 



Suitable Acres 



Nonsuitable Acres 



Marble Canyon (NV-040-086) 




Proposed Action (Alternative A) 


8,300 


All Wilderness 


19,150 


No Wilderness/No Action 





Fish and Wildlife #1 (NV-050-201) 




Prooosed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


1 1 ,090 


Fish and Wildlife #2 (NV-050-216) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


17,242 


Fish and Wildlife #3 (NV-050-217) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


22,002 


Lime Canyon (NV-050-231) 




Proposed Action (Alternative A) 


13,895 


All Wilderness 


34,680 


No Wilderness 





Million Hills (NV-050-233) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


21,296 


Alternative A 


11,050 


Garrett Buttes (NV-050-235) 




Prooosed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


11,835 


Quail Springs (NV-050-411) 




Prooosed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


12,145 


El Dorado (NV-050-423) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


12,290 


Alternative A 


9,570 


Ireteba Peaks (NV-050-438) 




Prooosed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


14,994 


Alternative A 


10,155 


Jumbo Springs (NV-050-236) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


3,466 


NellisABC (NV-050-04R-15) 




Prooosed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


5,718 


Evergreen ABC (NV-050-01R-16) 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


2,694 


Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area ISA 




Proposed Action (No Wilderness) 





All Wilderness 


12,316 



10,850 



19,150 

1 1 ,090 


17,242 


22,002 


20,785 



34,680 

21,296 



10,246 

1 1 ,835 


12,145 


12,290 



2,720 

14,994 



4,839 

3,466 


5,718 


2,694 


12,316 




1-29 



CHAPTER 2 

PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 

Since the pattern of future actions within the WSAs cannot be predicted with certainty, assumptions were 
made to allow the analysis of impacts under the Proposed Action and Alternatives. These assumptions 
are the basis of the impacts identified in this EIS. They are not management plans or proposals, but 
represent feasible patterns of activities which could occur under the alternatives analyzed. 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends 8,300 acres suitable for wilderness designation and 10,850 acres as 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-1). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 8,300 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Validity examinations would be conducted on any mining claims located within the WSA at 
the time a plan of operations is submitted. As of 1987, a total of 14 mining claims covering 1,120 acres 
existed within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. 

The northern tip of the suitable portion in the vicinity of Bars Canyon is considered to have a high favorability 
for the occurrence of marble. Marble deposits are known to exist in the area but are of a relatively poor 
quality. In addition, the cost of quarrying marble and the accessibility and distance to markets, precludes 
development (GEM 1983). Exploration and development are not, therefore, anticipated within this portion 
of the WSA. 

The 10,850 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mining laws. As of 1987, 12 claims containing 
1 ,920 acres existed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

Some exploration to define the extent of marble deposits is projected to occur north of Bar's Canyon. Due 
to the widespread nature of the marble deposits, this exploration would likely occur in the more easily 
accessible area to the north of Bar's Canyon. As a result of this exploration, there would be approximately 
6 acres of surface disturbance. The disturbance would include up to 2 miles of road access and drill pad 
construction. Development of marble resources as a result of exploration would likely not occur due to the 
reason listed above under the suitable section. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Potential for oil, gas and geothermal resources within the Marble Canyon WSA is considered to be low 
(GEM 1983). As of 1987, no oil, gas, or geothermal leases existed within the WSA. Exploration or 
development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected within the WSA. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The 8,300 acre suitable portion of the Marble Canyon WSA would be closed to cross country motorized 
recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting 
and trapping. This would eliminate about 8 visits per year within the recommended suitable area. 

Non-motorized recreation would continue to increase from an estimated 5 to about 10 visits annually. 
Primary uses would be hunting and trapping. 

2- 1 



The 10,850 acre nonsuitable portion would remain available for motorized recreational use. The area will 
be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the Schell 
Management Framework Plan (MFP). The motorized recreational use in the nonsuitable portion is projected 
to remain at approximately 17 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 
Visitation within this portion of the WSA is projected to remain at approximately 5 visits annually. Primary 
uses would be hunting. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Marble Canyon WSA lies within three grazing allotments; the Muncy Creek Allotment (year-round) and 
the Smith Creek Allotment (fall-spring) and the Devil's Gate Allotment (winter-spring). Each allotment has 
one permittee. Within the suitable portion of the Marble Canyon WSA approximately 75 cattle AUMs would 
be utilized within the Muncy Creek Allotment, 20 cattle AUMs within the Smith Creek Allotment and 5 sheep 
AUMs within the Devil's Gate Allotment. Within the nonsuitable portion of the Marble Canyon WSA 
approximately 225 cattle AUMs would be utilized within the Muncy Creek Allotment, 150 cattle AUMs within 
the Smith Creek Allotment and 75 Sheep AUMs within the Devil's Gate Allotment. These grazing levels may 
vary slightly in the future based on resource monitoring. 

Two developed seeps are located within the suitable portion of the WSA. One seep consists of a 3-foot 
diameter hole drilled about 4 feet into a cliff face. The seep is located at the terminus of a cherrystemmed 
route and was abandoned because it did not produce water. The other seep is a hand-dug hole located 
at the base of Thunder Mountain along a cherrystemmed route. Future maintenance would be accomplished 
by hand or by the use of a small backhoe every 5-10 years. No new range improvements are projected for 
the suitable portion of the WSA. Use of motorbikes off existing roads by the permittee, for the trailing of 
livestock would not be allowed within this portion of the WSA. 

A corral is the only existing range improvement within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. Two proposed 
stock reservoirs would be constructed within the southeast portion of the nonsuitable area. The purpose 
of the reservoirs is to provide intermittent water sources on the east bench of the WSA. Use of motorbikes 
by the permittee, for the trailing of livestock, would continue within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 19,150 acres of public land in the Marble Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-2). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid and existing rights, the 19,150 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA recommended as suitable 
for wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Validity examinations would be conducted on any mining claims located within the WSA at the 
time a plan of operations is submitted. As of 1987, a total of 26 mining claims covering 3,040 acres existed 
within the WSA. 

Assuming that some existing claims would be valid at the time of designation, limited exploration is projected 
to take place within the Marble Canyon WSA. An exploratory drilling program to define the extent of the 
more accessible marble deposits on existing marble claims would include drill pads and approximately 2 
miles of access just north of Bars Canyon. Surface disturbance associated with the 2 miles of access would 
include some limited blade work to assist in cross county travel. Blade work would be used only to allow 
vehicles to pass, not to create a road. The remaining surface disturbance would consist of small drill pads. 
In total, about 2 acres of land would be disturbed. Development of marble resources is not projected to 
occur as a result of exploration. This is due to the relatively low quality of marble and the distance to 
potential markets (GEM 1983). 



2-2 



Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, 
vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 25 visits per 
year within the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 10 to 20 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting and occasional hiking and nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Marble Canyon WSA lies within three grazing allotments; the Muncy Creek Allotment (year long) and 
the Smith Creek Allotment (fall-spring) and the Devil's Gate Allotment (winter-spring). Each allotment has 
one permittee. Within the Marble Canyon WSA approximately 300 cattle AUMs would be utilized within the 
Muncy Creek Allotment, 170 cattle AUMs within the Smith Creek Allotment and 80 sheep AUMs within the 
Devil's Gate Allotment. These grazing levels may vary slightly in the future based on resource monitoring. 

The Smith Creek Allotment permittee utilizes motorbikes for the trailing of livestock. Under the All Wilderness 
Alternative the use of motorized vehicles for this type of activity would be restricted to boundary and 
cherrystemmed roads. 

Existing range improvements include I mile offence and a corral. Two developed seeps (one dry) are also 
located within the WSA. Future maintenance of the usable seep would be accomplished by hand or by the 
use of a small backhoe every 5-10 years. The remaining projects would be maintained with out vehicular 
access. The construction of two stock reservoirs proposed on the east bench of the WSA would occur. 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 

The No Wilderness Alternative recommends the entire 19,150 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-3). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 19,150 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. Validity 
examinations would not be required prior to development. As of 1987, 26 mining claims covering 3,040 
acres existed within the WSA. 

An exploratory drilling program to define the extent of the marble deposits along the more easily accessible 
northern portion of the WSA is projected. Surface disturbance would include up to 2 miles of a road access 
and drill pad construction. This program would result in a cumulative total of 6 acres of surface disturbance 
within the northeast portion of the WSA. Development of marble resources is not projected to occur as the 
result of exploration. This is due to the relatively low quality of marble and the distance to potential markets 
(GEM 1983). 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration or development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected due to a low potential 
for their occurrence (GEM 1983). 

Recreation Management Actions 

The entire WSA would remain available for motorized recreational use. The area will be managed through 
an off-road vehicle management plan and designations as specified in the Schell Management Framework 
Plan (MFP). The motorized recreational use in the WSA is projected to remain at approximately 25 visits 
annually. 

2-3 



Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 10 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to an estimated 15 visits annually under the Proposed Action. Primary uses would be hunting. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Marble Canyon WSA lies within three grazing allotments; the Muncy Creek Allotment (year long) and 
the Smith Creek Allotment (fall-spring) and the Devil's Gate Allotment (winter-spring). Each allotment has 
one permittee. Within the Marble Canyon WSA approximately 300 cattle AUMs would be utilized within the 
Muncy Creek Allotment, 170 cattle AUMs within the Smith Creek Allotment and 80 sheep AUMs within the 
Devil's Gate Allotment. These grazing levels may vary slightly in the future based on resource monitoring. 

Existing range improvements include I mile of fence and a corral. Two developed seeps (one dry) are also 
located within the WSA. Future maintenance of the usable seep would be accomplished by hand or by the 
use of a small backhoe every 5-10 years. Maintenance of the remaining projects would continue as needed. 
Use of motorbikes off existing roads by the permittee, for the trailing of livestock would continue within the 
WSA. The construction of two stock reservoirs proposed on the east bench of the WSA would be allowed 
under the No Wilderness Alternative. 



2-4 



Table 2-1 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Marble Canyon WSA 



ISSUE TOPICS 



Impacts on 
Wilderness Values 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(PARTIAL WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



NO WILDERNESS 



The excellent opportunities 
for solitude and primitive 
recreation, highly scenic 
geologic values and the 
stands of bristlecone pine 
would be preserved. 
Impacts to wilderness 
qualities in the 
nonsuitable portion would 
occur on approximately 10 
acres concentrated north of 
Bars Canyon and on the 
eastern benches. The 
majority of the 
disturbances would be 
related to marble 
exploration and livestock 
reservoir construction. 



Impacts to wilderness 
qualities on 10 acres would 
not occur. The bristlecone 
pine, geologic and 
archaeological values and 
prime raptor habitat would 
be preserved. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude 
and primitive unconfined 
recreation would be 
retained on 19,148 acres. 



Impairment of the 
wilderness values would 
occur on approximately 10 
acres near Bars Canyon and 
the eastern bench of the 
WSA. Opportunities for 
solitude and primitive 
unconfined recreation, the 
bristlecone pines, raptor 
habitat and archaeological 
values would be unaffected. 
The remaining 19, 140 acres 
would retain their 
wilderness values except 
for the creation of a few 
primitive two-tracked 
routes. 



Impacts on 
Exploration for and 
Development of Non- 
Energy Mineral 
Resources 



Exploration and development 
of marble resources would 
be foregone on unclaimed 
lands within the suitable 
portion. Marble resources 
could be developed on 
existing claims in the 
suitable portion. All 
lands within the 
nonsuitable portion would 
remain open to mineral 
entry with no impact to 
exploration or development 
of marble resources. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the 
WSA. Restricted 
exploration activity would 
occur. Development of the 
marble reserves is not 
expected to take place. 



All lands within the WSA 
would remain open to 
mineral entry. There would 
be no impacts on the 
exploration or development 
of mineral resources. 



Impacts on Grazing 
Management 



The use of motorbikes to 
assist in the trailing of 
livestock would not be 
al Lowed in the suitable 
portion. This would have 
only a negligible effect on 
grazing operations since 
only a small portion of the 
suitable area lends itself 
to motorbike use. 



The construction of two 
stock reservoirs would not 
be allowed, having no 
effect on current grazing 
practices. The switching 
from use of motorbikes to 
horses to accomplish 
livestock trailing would 
have a slight adverse 
economic impact on the 
operator. 



There would be no impact on 
grazing management within 
the Marble Canyon WSA. 



2-5 



R69E 



1 1 



I I 



R70E 




J I v . 1 

■ — i! „■ -■■ i 



T17N 



o 



PROPOSED ACTION (PARTIAL) 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2- 1 

PROPOSED ACTION PARTIAL 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

MARBLE CANYON 

NV-040-086 



2-6 



R69E 



R70E 







T17N 










MILES 



ALL WILDERNESS . 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2- 2 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

MARBLE CANYON 

NV-040-086 



2-7 



R69E 



R70E 




T17N 



n 



NO WILDERNESS 



MAP 2- 3 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

MARBLE CANYON 

NV-040-086 



2-8 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 11,090 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-4). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 11,090 acres of the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the 
mineral leasing and mining laws. Although no known metallic or nonmetallic minerals exist within the WSA 
as the geologic conditions are not favorable for the accumulation of these materials, it is projected that 
exploration, possibly for precious metals, would eventually occur on the four existing mining claims in the 
WSA. Exploration would entail the construction of 1 mile of road and the trenching of test pits on two acres. 
A projected total of 2.5 acres of ground would be physically disturbed from this mining exploration activity. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the two existing (but so far unused) material sites is projected and will 
result in the disturbance of 320 acres. These material sites are located on rights-of-way issued in perpetuity 
and may be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to the approval of any plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to determine 
tortoise occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the Category I desert tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has not 
generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas to avoid motorized use in areas of crucial habitat. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected to occur due 
to low favorability for occurrence and a historic lack of interest in the area. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use would continue as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan 
which limits the type and location of competitive high speed events. Motorized recreational use would be 
limited to designated roads and trails to protect crucial (Category I) desert tortoise habitat. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 45 annual visits to 90 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 15 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to 20 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 

2-9 



Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Arrow Canyon Allotment (ephemeral). 
This allotment has one permittee. Approximately ten percent of the Arrow Canyon Allotment is located within 
the WSA. The portion of the Arrow Canyon Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 30 
AUMs for cattle. No range improvements exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 1 1 ,090 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities could be developed within the WSA. The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines is projected within a utility corridor one mile wide, extending the 14 mile length of the 
WSA. This projection does not include four buried utility lines (two gas and two fiber optic) included in the 
draft EIS proposed action projection. It was determined, following additional analysis of the desert tortoise 
habitat issue, that the impacts resulting from construction of these four lines could not be allowed in a 
Category I tortoise habitat area so they have been deleted. 

Specific mitigating measures designed to protect the desert tortoise and minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
will include at a minimum: 

1) Prior to any construction being authorized, a site specific inventory will be conducted to determine the 
amount of habitat involved, the number of animals at risk and the cumulative effect of proposed and existing 
projects. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) Access road and tower site locations will be located (or relocated) to avoid impacting tortoises. 

4) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

5) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

6) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

7) Access will be limited to one road within the corridor to be used by all right-of-way holders. Access to 
individual tower locations will be by the shortest and/or least tortoise impacting route off the common 
access road. 

8) Tower to tower travel during survey, design, construction and future maintenance will not be allowed 
except on the common access road, approved spur roads and in areas cleared for usage as a result of 
the site specific inventory. 

9) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 11,090 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. (Map 2-5). 

2-10 



Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 1 1 ,090 acres recommended suitable for wilderness designation would 
be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. If plans of operation 
are received for the four existing claims in the WSA, a validity exam would be conducted. Development of 
mineral resources is not projected to occur under the All Wilderness Alternative. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the two existing (but so far unused) material sites is projected and will 
result in the disturbance of 320 acres. These material sites are located on rights-of-way issued in perpetuity 
and may be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to sand and gravel removal, a site specific survey will be conducted to determine tortoise 
occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the crucial tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of material sites to prevent tortoises from entering. 

6) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness areas from mineral leasing and entry. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, 
vehicle camping, and vehicular access for rockhounding, hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 
45 visits per year within the WSA. Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 15 to 30 visits 
annually. Primary uses would be hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Arrow Canyon Allotment (ephemeral). 
This allotment has one permittee. Approximately ten percent of the Arrow Canyon Allotment is located within 
the WSA. The portion of the Arrow Canyon Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 30 
AUMs for cattle. No range improvements exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 1 1 ,090 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 

2-11 



crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and the establishment of a utility corridor would not occur due to 
wilderness designation. 




2-12 



Table 2-2 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Fish and Wildlife #1 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(MO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Wi Iderness 
Values 



Impacts on 

Exploration 

for, and 

development of 

Non-Energy 

Mineral 

Resources 



Projected development of utilities, 
motorized recreational vehicle use, 
extraction of sand and gravel and mineral 
exploration are projected to physically 
disturb an estimated 823 acres. The visual 
perception of naturalness would be impaired 
on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation within the entire WSA would be 
diminished and, in some instances lost due 
to audio and visual distractions. 

All lands within the WSA would remain open 
to mineral entry. No adverse impacts on 
the exploration or development of mineral 
resources is anticipated. 



Extraction of sand and gravel is projected 
to physically disturb an estimated 320 
acres. The visual perception of 
naturalness would be impaired on the entire 
WSA. Outstanding opportunities for 
solitude and primitive recreation within 
the entire WSA would be diminished during 
periods of active sand and gravel 
operations due to audio and visual 
distractions. 



Exploration for and development of mineral 
resources would be foregone within the WSA 
due to a withdrawal from mineral entry. 
320 acres would be developed by the state 
for sand and gravel extraction on existing 
material sites. 



Impacts on 

Motorized 

Recreational 

Use 

Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Existing 
Material Site 
Rights-of-Way 

Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species Desert 
Tortoise 



Motorized recreational use would increase 
under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 



The proposed action would allow the 
development of five transmission lines in 
the WSA, however, four buried utility lines 
would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise in 
Category I habitat. 

No impact to existing material site rights- 
of-way. 



823 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction, 
motorized recreational use and mineral 
exploration. 



Motorized recreational use of 45 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands wouLd be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 



No impact to existing material site rights- 
of-way. 



320 acres of Category I habitat would be 
lost due to the extraction of sand and 
gravel from existing material sites. 



2-13 



T11S 



36 






T12S 






MILES 



,e9- zSl 



6T 



5 J 



T13S 



-_k 



x: 



PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



flfr 



->- 



I 'iiq i 



1 — T 



f 



36 



- ; ^- 



X13 1 / 2 S 



MAP 2- 4 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 

NV-050-201 




R63E 



2-14 



T11S 




T12S 



n 

2 

MILES 





T13S 




I13 1 / 2 s 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 

MAP 2- 5 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 

NV-050-201 



2-15 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 WSA (NV-050-216) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 17,242 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation. 
(Map 2-6). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 1 7,242 acres of Fish and Wildlife No. 2 would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the 
mineral leasing and mining laws. Exploration for and development of metallic or nonmetallic minerals is 
not expected to occur within the WSA due to geologic conditions unfavorable to the accumulation of these 
minerals, the absence of mining claims and prospecting activity, and a poor marketable location. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected due to low 
favorability for the occurrence of energy resources and a historic lack of interest in the area. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use would continue as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan 
(MFP) which limits the type and location of competitive high speed events. Motorized recreational use would 
be limited to designated roads and trails to protect crucial (Category I) desert tortoise habitat. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 75 to 125 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 15 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to 25 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA lies within two grazing allotments, the Arrow Canyon Allotment (ephemeral) 
and the Pittman Well Allotment (not permitted). Each allotment has one permittee. Approximately 10 percent 
of the Arrow Canyon Allotment and 1 7 percent of the Pittman Well Allotment are within the WSA. The portion 
of the Arrow Canyon Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 30 AUMs for cattle. The 
entire Pittman Well Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing during the past 5 years and an application 
for ephemeral use is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 1 1,007 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

The WSA contains bighorn sheep habitat within the Elbow Mountain Range and Hidden Valley. The 
development of two waters for the bighorn sheep within these portions of the WSA are being proposed by 
the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) in a Habitat Management Plan. If suitable terrain is found, each 
water development would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 
50' camouflaged corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1,600 gallon storage 
tanks would be associated with each of the water developments. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities would be developed within the WSA. The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines is projected within a utility corridor one mile wide, extending the 1 1 mile length of the 
WSA. This projection does not include four buried utility lines (two gas and two fiber optic) included in the 
draft EIS proposed action projection. It was determined, following additional analysis of the desert tortoise 
habitat issue, that the impacts resulting from construction of these four lines could not be allowed in a 

2-16 



Category I tortoise habitat area so they have been deleted. 

Specific mitigating measures designed to protect the desert tortoise and minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
will include at a minimum: 

1) Prior to any construction being authorized, a site specific inventory will be conducted to determine the 
amount of habitat involved, the number of animals at risk and the cumulative effect of proposed and existing 
projects. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) Access road and tower site locations will be located (or relocated) to avoid impacting tortoises. 

4) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

5) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

6) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

7) Access will be limited to one road within the corridor to be used by all right-of-way holders. Access to 
individual tower locations will be by the shortest and/or least tortoise impacting route off the common 
access road. 

8) Tower to tower travel during survey, design, construction and future maintenance will not be allowed 
except on the common access road, approved spur roads and in areas cleared for usage as a result of 
the site specific inventory. 

9) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 17,242 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. (Map 2-7). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 17,242 acres of the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA recommended as 
suitable for wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral 
leasing and mining laws. Exploration for and development of potential mineral resources are not projected 
to occur due to low favorability for mineral occurrence. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to a low 
favorability for the occurrence of energy resources and withdrawal of the designated wilderness from mineral 
leasing and entry. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, 
vehicle camping, and vehicular access for rockhounding, hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 
75 visits per year within the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 15 to 50 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 



2-17 



Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA lies within two grazing allotments, the Arrow Canyon Allotment (ephemeral) 
and the Pittman Well Allotment (not permitted). Each allotment has one permittee. Approximately 1 percent 
of the Arrow Canyon Allotment and 1 7 percent of the Pittman Well Allotment are within the WSA. The portion 
of the Arrow Canyon Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 30 AUMs for cattle. The 
entire Pittman Well Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing for the past 5 years and an application for 
ephemeral use is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 1 1 ,007 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

The WSA contains bighorn sheep habitat within the Elbow Mountain Range and Hidden Valley. The 
development of two waters for the bighorn sheep within these portions of the WSA are being proposed by 
the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) in a Habitat Management Plan. If suitable terrain is found, each 
water development would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 
50' camouflaged corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1 ,600 gallon storage 
tanks would be associated with each of the water developments. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and the establishment of a utility corridor would not occur due to 
wilderness designation. 



2-18 



Table 2-3 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Fish and Wildlife #2 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on Projected development of utilities and 
Wilderness motorized recreational vehicle use are 
Values projected to physically disturb an 

estimated 400 acres. The visual 
perception of naturalness would be 
impaired on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation within the entire WSA would be 
diminished and, in some instances lost 
due to audio and visual distractions. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve wilderness values of naturalness, 
outstanding opportunities that exist for 
solitude, and would enhance the protection 
of desert tortoise. 



Impacts on 
Levels of 
Motorized 
Recreational 
Use 



Motorized recreational use would increase 
under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 



Motorized recreational use of 75 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands would be negligible. 



Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



The proposed action would allow the 
development of five transmission lines in 
the WSA, however, four buried utility 
lines would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise 
in Category I habitat. 

400 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat would be lost due to utility 
development and motorized recreational 
use. 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 



Category I habitat would be preserved within 
the WSA. 



2-19 



R62E R63 



T14S 



T15S 




PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 






MAP 2- 6 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 

NV-050-216 



MILES 



2-20 



R62E R63 



T14S 



T15S 




ALL WILDERNESS 



RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



n 

2 

MILES"" 



MAP 2- 7 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 

NV-050-216 



2-21 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 WSA (NV-050-217) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 22,002 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation. 
(Map 2-8). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 22,002 acres of Fish and Wildlife No. 2 would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the 
mineral leasing and mining laws. Exploration for and development of metallic or nonmetallic minerals is 
not expected to occur within the WSA due to geologic conditions unfavorable to the accumulation of these 
minerals, the absence of mining claims and prospecting activity, and a poor marketable location. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from one existing (but so far unused) is projected and will result in the 
disturbance of 40 acres. The existing material site is located on a right-of-way issued in perpetuity and 
may be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to the approval of any plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to determine 
tortoise occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the crucial tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas to avoid motorized use in areas of crucial habitat. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected due to low 
favorability for the occurrence of energy resources and a historic lack of interest in the area. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use would continue as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan 
(MFP) which limits the type and location of competitive high speed events. Motorized recreational use would 
be limited to designated roads and trails to protect crucial (Category I) desert tortoise habitat. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 60 to 105 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 10 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to 15 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA lies within two grazing allotments, Pittman Well Allotment (non-use) and 

2-22 



the Dry Lake Allotment (ephemeral). Each allotment has one permittee. Approximately 44 percent of the 
Pittman Well Allotment and 7 percent of the Dry Lake Allotment are within the WSA. The portion of the Dry 
Lake Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 14 AUMs for cattle. The Pittman Well 
Allotment has not been actively grazed for the past five years and an application for ephemeral use is not 
projected. No range projects exist or are proposed within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 19,812 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities would be developed within the WSA. The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines is projected within a utility corridor one mile wide, extending the 18 mile length of the 
WSA. This projection does not include four buried utility lines (two gas and two fiber optic) included in the 
draft EIS proposed action projection. It was determined, following additional analysis of the desert tortoise 
habitat issue, that the impacts resulting from construction of these four lines could not be allowed in a 
Category I tortoise habitat area so they have been deleted. 

Specific mitigating measures designed to protect the desert tortoise and minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
will include at a minimum: 

1) Prior to any construction being authorized, a site specific inventory will be conducted to determine the 
amount of habitat involved, the number of animals at risk and the cumulative effect of proposed and existing 
projects. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) Access road and tower site locations will be located (or relocated) to avoid impacting tortoises. 

4) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

5) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

6) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

7) Access will be limited to one road within the corridor to be used by all right-of-way holders. Access to 
individual tower locations will be by the shortest and/or least tortoise impacting route off the common 
access road. 

8) Tower to tower travel during survey, design, construction and future maintenance will not be allowed 
except on the common access road, approved spur roads and in areas cleared for usage as a result of 
the site specific inventory. 

9) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 22,002 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-9). 

2-23 



Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 17,242 acres of the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA recommended as 
suitable for wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral 
leasing and mining laws. Exploration for and development of potential mineral resources are not projected 
to occur due to low favorability for mineral occurrence. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the existing (but so far unused) material site is projected and will result 
in the disturbance of 40 acres. This material site is located on a right-of-way issued in perpetuity and may 
be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to sand and gravel removal, a site specific survey will be conducted to determine tortoise 
occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the crucial tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of material sites to prevent tortoises from entering. 

6) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, 
vehicle camping, and vehicular access for rockhounding, hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 
60 visits per year within the WSA. 

Nonmotorized recreation is projected to increase from 10 to 30 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA lies within two grazing allotments, Pittman Well Allotment (non-use) and 
the Dry Lake Allotment (ephemeral). Each allotment has one permittee. Approximately 44 percent of the 
Pittman Well Allotment and 7 percent of the Dry Lake Allotment are within the WSA. The portion of the Dry 
Lake Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 14 AUMs for cattle. The Pittman Well 
Allotment has not been actively grazed for the past five years and an application for ephemeral use is not 
projected. No range projects exist or are proposed within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 

2-24 



Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 19,812 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and the establishment of a utility corridor would not occur due to 
wilderness designation. 




2-25 



Table 2-4 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Fish and Uildlife #3 



IMPACT TOPIC 



Impacts on 
Ui Iderness 
Values 



Impacts on 
Levels of 
Motorized 
Recreational 
Use 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Projected development of utilities, 
motorized recreational vehicle use, 
extraction of sand and gravel and mineral 
exploration are projected to physically 
disturb an estimated 696 acres. The 
visual perception of naturalness would be 
impaired on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation within the entire WSA would be 
diminished and, in some instances lost 
due to audio and visual distractions. 

Motorized recreational use would increase 
under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve wilderness values of naturalness, 
outstanding opportunities that exist for 
solitude, and would enhance the protection 
of the desert tortoise and the sensitive 
plant. Activities related to the authorized 
extraction of sand and gravel and 
unauthorized vehicle use would impair 
naturalness qualities over approximately 50 
acres of the WSA. 



Motorized recreational use of 60 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands would be negligible. 



Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Existing 
Material Site 
Rights-of-Way 

Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



The proposed action would allow the 
development of five transmission lines in 
the WSA. Four buried utility lines would 
not be developed because of unacceptable 
impacts on desert tortoise in Category I 
habitat. Special considerations would be 
given to the penstemon population. 

No impact to existing material site 
rights-of-way. 



696 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction, 
and motorized recreational use. 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 



No impact to existing material site rights- 
of-way. 



Category I desert tortoise habitat would be 
preserved within the WSA except for an 
estimated 50 acres of which would be lost 
due to the extraction of sand and gravel 
from an existing material site. 



2-26 




MAP 2- 8 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



< 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



'&. 



A' 



R> 



< 



*? 



MILES 




MAP 2- 9 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



/. 



^ 



A- 



^\ 



v 



B> 



MILES 



2-28 




LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 

PROPOSED ACTION (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under the Proposed Action, 13,895 acres out of a total of 34,680 acres of public land, would be 
recommended suitable for wilderness designation. The remaining 20,785 acres of public land would be 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-10). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 13,895 acres of the Lime Canyon WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Exploration for and development of potential minerals are not projected within the 
recommended suitable area because of a low favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and only 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of non-metallic minerals (limestone, dolomite, gypsum) (GEM 1983) 
as evidenced by the lack of any mining claims in the recommended suitable area. Areas offering better 
mineral potential for exploration and development exist outside the recommended suitable portion of the 
WSA. 

The 20,785 acres of the Lime Canyon WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mining laws. As of 1987, 5 claims covering 
approximately 100 acres existed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. The nonsuitable portion of the 
WSA has a low favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and moderate favorability for the 
occurrence of non-metallic minerals (limestone, dolomite, and gypsum) (GEM 1983). 

The expansion of two gypsum mines is projected to occur within the eastern portion of the nonsuitable 
area. These would be extensions of existing mines developed on the three patented claims located within 
the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. A total of 620 acres of surface disturbance, including 
10 miles of access construction, auxiliary facilities, shops and the extraction of gypsum, are projected to 
occur within the Lime Canyon WSA. Processing facilities for both mines would be located outside the WSA. 

Mitigation designed to assess potential impacts to the gila monster and to protect the scenic values of Lime 
Ridge will be required for any surface disturbing actions and will include the following measures at a 
minimum: 

1) A site specific survey to determine if the gila monster sighting in 1980 indicates the area is crucial gila 
monster habitat. 

2) Relocation of gila monsters at risk. 

3) Acquisition of new or enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

4) A visual rating of the Lime Ridge scenic quality and a plan for recontouring of the ridge line. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry and a low favorability for the 
occurrence of energy resources (GEM 1983). Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within this portion of 
the WSA. 

The nonsuitable portion of the WSA is also considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of energy 
resources (GEM 1983) and no oil and gas leases exist within this portion of the WSA. However, based on 
current energy exploration activity occurring outside the WSA, it is projected that one exploratory well would 
be drilled along the WSA's eastern border. Surface disturbance from the projected well would total 
approximately 4.5 acres, involving 3 acres for a well pad cleared of surface vegetation and topsoil, and 1 mile 
of access road. Neither a producing oil well or oil field are projected to occur within the WSA, nor is any 
further geophysical exploration. 



2-29 



Recreation Management Actions 

The 13,895 acre suitable portion of the Lime Canyon WSA would be closed to cross country motorized 
recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting 
and trapping. This would eliminate about 30 visits per year within the recommended suitable area. 

Non-motorized recreation would continue to increase from an estimated 35 to about 170 visits annually. 
Primary uses would be hunting, trapping, sightseeing and hiking. Motorized recreational use could continue 
within the 20,785 acre nonsuitable portion of the WSA. The area would be managed through an off-road 
vehicle management plan and designation (limited use) as specified in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the nonsuitable area would be limited to roads, ways and 
washes and competition would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized recreational uses are projected 
to increase from an estimated 150 to 230 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 
Visitation within this portion of the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 25 to 35 visits annually. 
Primary uses would be hunting and trapping. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Lime Canyon WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). The portion 
of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the recommended suitable area would utilize an estimated 218 
AUMs for cattle and 215 AUMs for burros. Approximately 20 percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has 
one permittee, is located within the WSA. 

The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA 
would utilize an estimated 328 AUMs for cattle and 323 AUMs for burros. 

One small gap fence, crossing the mouth of Lime Canyon, is located within the suitable portion of the WSA. 
No other range improvements exist or are proposed for development within the suitable area. One fence 
line, one developed spring and a small earthen reservoir are located within the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. No new range improvements are proposed for this portion of the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Maintenance of the two existing upland game bird water developments which supplement the excellent 
habitat for Gambel's quail in the WSA would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. 
No additional water development projects are proposed for the WSA. 

Bighorn sheep may be released into the WSA's potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn 
sheep release plan identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may 
require the implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water 
development would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' 
camouflaged corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1 ,600 gallon storage tanks 
would be associated with each of the three bighorn sheep water developments. 

Two of the water development projects would be located within the recommended suitable portion of the 
WSA. The water developments would be constructed and maintained yearly with out the use of motorized 
equipment. The third guzzler would be located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Lime Canyon WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist two miles north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization. 



2-30 



Realty Management Actions 

Located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA are three separate patented mining claims 
totaling 838 acres. It is projected that the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their 
patented claims. Rights-of-way would be issued for access to these private lands. Approximately 1 mile of 
access routes, disturbing about 3 acres, would be constructed within the WSA. These routes would become 
part of the mining development projected to occur within the WSA. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 34,680 acres of public land in the Lime Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-11). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resources Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 34,680 acres of the Lime Canyon WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. If plans of operation are received for the five existing claims in the WSA, a validity exam would 
be conducted. 

Assuming that the mining claims prove valid, two gypsum mines are projected to occur within the eastern 
portion of the WSA. These mines would be extensions of existing mines developed on the three patented 
claims located within the study area. A total of 600 acres of surface disturbance, including 6 miles of access 
construction and the extraction of gypsum, are projected to occur within the Lime Canyon WSA. 

Mitigation designed to assess potential impacts to the gila monster and to protect the scenic values of Lime 
Ridge will be required for any surface disturbing actions and will include the following measures at a 
minimum: 

1) A site specific survey to determine if the gila monster sighting in 1980 indicates the area is crucial gila 
monster habitat. 

2) Relocation of gila monsters at risk. 

3) Acquisition of new or enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

4) A visual rating of the Lime Ridge scenic quality and a plan for recontouring of the ridge line. 5) Consider 
locating auxiliary and processing facilities outside the WSA. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA, including 12.7 miles of ways and 6 miles of roads associated with projected mineral activity, 
would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, vehicle 
camping and vehicular access for hunting, trapping and rock collecting. This would eliminate about 180 
visits per year within the WSA. 

Nonmotorized recreation is projected to increase from 60 to 190 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping, rockhounding and hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Lime Canyon WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). The portion 
of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 546 AUMs for cattle and 538 
AUMs for burros. Approximately 20 percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located 
in the WSA. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of two fence lines, one developed spring and a small 
earthen reservoir. These range improvements would require yearly maintenance with horses or low impact 

2-31 



cross-country motorized vehicles. No new range projects are proposed for development within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Maintenance of the two existing upland game bird water developments which supplement the excellent 
habitat for Gambel's quail in the WSA would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. 
No additional water development projects are proposed for the WSA. 

The Lime Canyon WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release 
plan identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water development 
would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged 
corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1,600 gallon storage tanks would be 
associated with each of the three water developments. The construction and yearly maintenance of the 
water development projects would be done with out the use of motorized equipment. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Lime Canyon WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist two miles north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this 
area. 

Realty Management Actions 

Located within the WSA are three separate patented mining claims totaling 838 acres. It is projected that 
the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their patented claims. Rights-of-way would 
be issued for access to these private lands. Approximately 1 mile of access routes, disturbing about 3 acres, 
would be constructed within the WSA. These routes would become part of the mining development 
projected to occur within the WSA. 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (No Action Alternative) 

The No Wilderness Alternative recommends the entire 34,680 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-11). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 34,680 acres of the Lime Canyon WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. Despite a low 
favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and only a moderate favorability for the occurrence of 
non-metallic minerals (limestone, dolomite, gypsum) (GEM 1983), the expansion of two gypsum mines is 
projected to occur within the eastern portion of the WSA. The two mines would be extensions of existing 
mines developed on the three patented claims located within the study area. A total of 620 acres of surface 
disturbance, including 10 miles of access construction, auxiliary facilities, shops and extraction of gypsum, 
are projected to occur within the Lime Canyon WSA. Processing facilities for both mines would be located 
outside the WSA. 

Mitigation designed to assess potential impacts to the gila monster and to protect the scenic values of Lime 
Ridge will be required for any surface disturbing actions and will include the following measures at a 
minimum: 

1) A site specific survey to determine if the gila monster sighting in 1980 indicates the area is crucial gila 
monster habitat. 

2) Relocation of gila monsters at risk. 

3) Acquisition of new or enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

4) A visual rating of the Lime Ridge scenic quality and a plan for recontouring of the ridge line. 5) Consider 
locating auxiliary and processing facilities outside the WSA. 

2-32 



Energy Resource Actions 

Based on current energy exploration activity occurring outside the WSA, it is projected that one exploratory 
well would be drilled along the WSA's eastern border. Surface disturbance from the projected well would 
total approximately 4.5 acres, involving clearance of surface vegetation and topsoil for well pads on 3 acres 
and the construction of I mile of access road. The Lime Canyon WSA is considered to have low favorability 
for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM 1983). Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within the WSA. 
A producing well or an oil field are not projected, nor is any further geophysical exploration within the WSA. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The area would be managed through an off- 
road vehicle management plan and designation (limited use) as specified in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the WSA would be limited to roads, ways and washes and 
competition would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase 
from an estimated 180 to 260 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA under the No Wilderness Alternative. 
Visitation within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 60 to 100 visits annually. Primary uses 
would be hunting, trapping and hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Lime Canyon WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). The portion 
of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 546 AUMs for cattle and 538 
AUMs for burros. Approximately 20 percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located 
in the WSA. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of two fence line, one developed spring and a small 
earthen reservoir. No new range improvements are proposed for development within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Maintenance of the two existing upland game bird water developments which supplement the excellent 
habitat for Gambel's quail in the WSA would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. 
No additional water development projects are proposed for the WSA. 

The Lime Canyon WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release 
plan identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water development 
would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged 
corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1 ,600 gallon storage tanks would be 
associated with each of the three water development projects. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Lime Canyon WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist two miles north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this 
area. 

Realty Management Actions 

Located within the WSA's boundaries are three separate patented mining claims totaling 838 acres. It is 
projected that the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their patented claims. Rights- 
of-way would be issued for access to these private lands. Approximately 1 mile of access routes, disturbing 
about 3 acres, would be constructed within the WSA. These routes would become part of the mining 
development projected to occur within the WSA. 



2-33 



Table 2-5 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Lime Canyon 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(PARTIAL WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



NO WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 

Wi Iderness Values 



Impacts on 
Exploration for and 
Development of Non- 
Energy Mineral 
Resources 



Wilderness values and the 
special geological value of 
Lime Canyon would be 
retained within 12,905 of 
the 13,895 acres of the 
recommended suitable 
portion. Wilderness values 
on the remaining 985 acres 
of the suitable area would 
be diminished and, in some 
instances lost, due to 
projected gypsum mining 
occurring on adjacent 
public and private lands 
and occasional unauthorized 
cross country vehicle use. 
There would be a loss of 
wilderness values on the 
20,785 acres recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation as continued 
and increasing cross 
country recreational 
vehicle use, projected 
mineral development, and 
oil and gas exploration 
would negatively impact 
wilderness values. Special 
features would be afforded 
some protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future 
management actions. 

Exploration and development 
of gypsum resources would 
be foregone on unclaimed 
lands within the suitable 
portion of the WSA. 
However, no mineral 
exploration or development 
of these lands is 
projected. The development 
of two gypsum mines is 
projected to occur within 
the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. 



Designation would preserve 
wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, 
and primitive recreation 
and the special features of 
the aforementioned Category 
2 "Threatened and 
Endangered" species and 
Lime Canyon that exist 
within 17,880 of the WSA's 
34,680 acres. 
Approximately 615 acres 
within the WSA would be 
physically disturbed by the 
projected activity 
associated with authorized 
mining and unauthorized 
vehicle use. The 
scarification of topography 
and the sights and sounds 
from heavy equipment 
associated with the mining 
would negatively impact the 
natural perception, 
outstanding opportunities 
for solitude and primitive 
recreation, and the scenic 
features of Lime Ridge 
within approximately 16,800 
acres of the WSA. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on unclaimed 
lands within the WSA. The 
development of two mines is 
projected to occur within 
the WSA under the All 
Wi Iderness Alternative. As 
no other mineral 
exploration or development 
in the WSA is projected, 
impacts to mineral 
resources would not occur. 



The sights, sounds and 
surface disturbances 
created by increased cross 
country motorized 
recreational use, projected 
mineral development and oil 
and gas exploration would 
contribute to the loss of 
wilderness values on 21,765 
acres of the WSA. Special 
features would be afforded 
some protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future 
management actions. 
Wilderness values would be 
retained within the 
remaining 12,915 acres of 
the WSA as no surface 
disturbing activities are 
projected to occur. 



Mineral resources within 
the WSA would be available 
for exploration and 
development. The 
development of two mines 
for gypsum is projected to 
occur within the WSA. 
There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the 
exploration for and 
development of mineral 
resources. 



2-34 



Table 2-5 Continued 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Lime Canyon 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(PARTIAL WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



NO WILDERNESS 



Impacts on the Level 
of Exploration for 
Oi I and Gas 



Exploration of potential 
oil and gas resources would 
be foregone within the 
suitable portion of the 
WSA. However, neither is 
projected to occur. The 
exploration of one well is 
projected within the 
nonsui table area; 
production is not expected. 



The exploratory drilling of 
one oi I and gas well 
projected for the WSA would 
be foregone. 



Oi I and gas resources 
within the WSA would be 
available for exploration. 
The dri I ling of one 
exploratory wel I is 
projected to occur within 
the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts 
on the exploration for 
energy resources. 



Impacts on Motorized 
Recreational Use 



Motorized recreational use 
would be eliminated on the 
13,895 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness 
designation and 
approximately 40 visits 
would be foregone annually. 
The impacts of shifting 
this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 



Motorized recreational use 
of 180 visits would be 
foregone annually from the 
WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other 
public lands would be 
negligible. 



Motorized recreational use 
would benefit under the No 
Wilderness Alternative. No 
adverse impacts to this use 
is expected to occur. 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



The status of tortoise 
habitat in the area is 
unknown. Adverse impacts 
could unknowingly occur 
until further population 
studies are conducted. 



Tortoise habitat which may 
exist within the area would 
be protected by wilderness 
designation. 



The status of tortoise 
habitat in the area is 
unknown. Adverse impacts 
could unknowingly occur 
until further population 
studies are conducted. 



2-35 



T17S 



T18S 




T19S 



PROPOSED ACTION 

(Partial) 

RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



old Buttr 



MILES 



MAP 2-10 

LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

PROPOSED ACTION PARTIAL 

WILDERNESS 
ALTERNATIVE 



2-36 



T17S 



T18S 







r 

\ i 






31 


^+ 


1 








\ 


| 


m 










\i 


6 





T19S 




ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



Mockmgbin 
Spring 



MAP 2-11 



LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 



MILES 



2-37 



T17S 



T18S 



T19S 




NO WILDERNESS 



old ^uttf 



MAP 2-12 

LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 



MILES 



2-38 



MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 21,296 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-13). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 21,296 acres of the Million Hills WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. Exploration of claims 
located near the Azure mine is projected. A total of 6.4 acres of surface disturbance primarily associated 
with 3 miles of road construction, drill pad construction and trenching of test pits is projected to occur as 
a result of the exploration program. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Based on current energy exploration activity occurring outside the WSA, it is projected that two exploratory 
wells would be drilled within the northwestern portion of the WSA. Surface disturbance from the two 
projected wells would total approximately 13.5 acres, involving 6 acres for well pads cleared of surface 
vegetation and topsoil and the construction of 2.5 miles of access road. Neither producing wells nor an oil 
field are projected, nor is any further geophysical exploration within the WSA. The Million Hills WSA is 
considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM 1983). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat in the northern portion of the WSA will be 
required for any surface disturbing actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to the approval of any drilling or plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to 
determine tortoise occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or enhancement 
of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (drilling rigs, mud pits, equipment yards, etc.) to prevent tortoises from 
entering disturbed areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas to avoid motorized use in areas of crucial habitat. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The area would be managed through an off- 
road vehicle management plan and designation (limited use) as specified in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the WSA would be limited to roads, ways and washes and 
competition would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized recreational use would also be limited to 
designated roads and trails to protect crucial (Category I) desert tortoise habitat. Motorized recreational uses 
are projected to increase from an estimated 150 to 215 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action. Visitation within 
the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 50 to 90 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, 
trapping and hiking/nature study. 

2-39 



Grazing Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA lies within two grazing allotments, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral) and the Azure 
Ridge Allotment (ephemeral). The Azure Ridge Allotment lies entirely within the WSA and is managed under 
an Allotment Management Plan (AMP) administered by the Arizona Strip District. The portion of the Gold 
Butte Allotment located within the WSA (7%), would utilize an estimated 191 AUMs for cattle and 188 AUMs 
for burros. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of two fence lines and two developed springs. An 
eight mile fence, extending the length of the WSA, is proposed along the eastern boundary. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release plan 
identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water development 
would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged 
corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1,600 gallon storage tanks would be 
associated with each of the three water development projects. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 8,960 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 21,296 acres of public land in the Million Hills WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-14). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resources Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 21,296 acres of the Million Hills WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Exploration, development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected to 
occur under the All Wilderness Alternative. If plans of operation are received for the four existing claims in 
the WSA, a validity exam would be conducted. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to a low 
favorability for discovery and withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry.. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA, including 4.8 miles of ways, would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits 
such as off-road vehicle driving, vehicle camping and vehicular access for hunting, trapping and rock 
collecting. This would eliminate about 150 visits per year within the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 50 to 180 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping, rockhounding and hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA lies within two grazing allotments, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral) and the Azure 
Ridge Allotment (ephemeral). The Azure Ridge Allotment lies entirely within the WSA and is managed under 
an Allotment Management Plan (AMP) administered by the Arizona Strip District. The portion of the Gold 
Butte Allotment located within the WSA (7%), would utilize an estimated 191 AUMs for cattle and 188 AUMs 
for burros. 

2-40 



Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of two fence lines and two developed springs. Yearly 
maintenance of these improvements would require the use of horses and low impact cross-country 
motorized vehicles. An eight mile fence, extending the length of the WSA, is proposed along the eastern 
boundary. The construction and maintenance of the fence would be done with non-motorized equipment. 
This development would be subject to the wilderness protection constraints set forth in the Wilderness 
Management Policy. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release plan 
identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water development 
would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged 
corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1,600 gallon storage tanks would be 
associated with each of the three water development projects. The construction and yearly maintenance 
of the water developments would be done with non-motorized equipment. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 8,960 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 1 1 ,050 acres out of 21 ,296 acres of public land, would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. The remaining 10,246 acres would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-15). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 11,050 acres of the Million Hills WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Exploration, development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected to 
occur within the suitable portion of the WSA under Alternative A. If plans of operation are received for the 
four mining claims located in the suitable portion, validity exams would be conducted. 

The 10,246 acres of the Million Hills WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mining laws. Exploration, development, or production 
of potential mineral resources is not projected to occur within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. As of 
1987, no mining claims existed in the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) in the suitable portion would 
not occur due to the withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry. This 
area has a low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM 1983) and no oil and gas leases 
exist within this portion of the WSA. 

The portion of the WSA recommended nonsuitable indicates a low favorability for the occurrence of energy 
resource (GEM 1983). Presently, five oil and gas leases (covering approximately 2,800 acres) exist within 
this portion of the WSA. 

Based on current energy exploration activity occurring outside the WSA, it is projected that two exploratory 
wells would be drilled within the northwestern portion of the nonsuitable area. Surface disturbance from the 
two projected wells would total approximately 13.5 acres, involving 6 acres for well pads cleared of surface 
vegetation and topsoil and the construction of 2.5 miles of access road. Neither producing wells nor an oil 

2-41 



field are projected, nor is any further geophysical exploration within the WSA. 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat in the northern portion of the WSA will be 
required for any surface disturbing actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to the approval of any drilling or plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to 
determine tortoise occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or enhancement 
of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (drilling rigs, mud pits, equipment yards, etc.) to prevent tortoises from 
entering disturbed areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas to avoid motorized use in areas of crucial habitat. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The 1 1 ,050 acre suitable portion of the Million Hills WSA would be closed to motorized recreational pursuits 
such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting and trapping. This 
would eliminate about 75 visits per year within the recommended suitable area. 

Non-motorized recreation would continue to increase from an estimated 35 to about 150 visits annually. 
Primary uses would be hunting, trapping, sightseeing and hiking/nature study. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the 10,246 acre nonsuitable portion of the WSA. The area 
would be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified 
in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the nonsuitable area would 
be limited to roads, ways and washes and competition would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 75 to 120 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 
Visitation within this portion of the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 15 to 30 visits annually. 
Primary uses would be hunting and trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA lies within two grazing allotments, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral) and the Azure 
Ridge Allotment (ephemeral). The Azure Ridge Allotment lies entirely within the recommended suitable area 
and is managed under an Allotment Management Plan (AMP) administered by the Arizona Strip District. The 
portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the recommended suitable area would utilize an estimated 
103 AUMs for cattle and 101 AUMs for burros. 

The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA 
would utilize an estimated 88 AUMs for cattle and 87 AUMs for burros. 

Yearly maintenance of the one fence line and one improved spring that exist within the recommended 
suitable portion of the WSA would be done with horses, on foot and occasional use of motorized equipment. 

2-42 



A portion (4 miles) of an eight mile fence is proposed for development along the eastern boundary. 
Construction and maintenance would be accomplished with non-motorized equipment. This development 
would be subject to the wilderness protection constraints set forth in the Wilderness Management Policy. 

One fence line and one improved spring are located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the 
WSA. A portion (4 miles) of an eight mile fence is proposed for development on the boundary of the area. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

The Million Hills WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release plan 
identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of three water development projects. If suitable terrain is found, each water development 
would utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged 
corrugated tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1,600 gallon storage tanks would be 
associated with each of the three water development projects. 

Two of the water developments would be located within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. 
Construction and yearly maintenance would be done with non-motorized equipment. The third water 
development would be located within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 8,960 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 



Table 2-6 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Million Hills 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



PARTIAL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Wilderness Values 



The sights, sounds and 
surface disturbances 
created by increased cross 
country motorized 
recreational use, projected 
mineral and oil and gas 
exploration would 
contribute to the loss of 
wilderness values on 12,656 
acres of the WSA. 
Wilderness values are 
expected to be retained 
within the remaining 8,640 
acres of the WSA as no 
surface disturbing 
activities are anticipated. 



Designation would preserve 
wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, 
primitive recreation and 
the scenic features of 
Azure Ridge. 



Wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation 
and the geologically scenic 
Azure Ridge, would be 
retained within the 11,050 
acre area recommended 
suitable. There would be a 
loss of wilderness values 
on the 10,246 acres 
recommended nonsuitable for 
wilderness designation as 
continued and increasing 
cross country motorized 
recreational use and the 
projected exploration of 
oi I and gas would 
negatively impact the area. 



2-43 



Table 2-6 Continued 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Million Hills 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



PARTIAL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Exploration for and 
Development of Non- 
Energy Mineral 
Resources 



Mineral resources within 
the WSA would be available 
for exploration and 
development. The 
exploration of existing 
mining claims is projected 
to occur within the WSA. 
There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the 
exploration for and 
development of mineral 
resources. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the 
WSA. Mineral exploration 
activity on existing claims 
would not occur due to the 
lack of significant 
mineralization to support 
validity examinations. 
Development of base metal 
resources is not projected 
to take place. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the 
recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA. 
Mineral exploration 
activity projected to occur 
without wilderness 
designation would not occur 
due to the lack of valid 
claims if designation 
occurs. Development of 
base metal resources is not 
projected to take place 
within either the 
recommended suitable or 
nonsuitable areas. 



Impacts on the Level 
of Exploration for 
Oi I and Gas 



Impacts on Motorized 
Recreational Use 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



Oi I and gas resources 
within the WSA would be 
available for exploration. 
The dri I ling of two 
exploratory wells is 
projected to occur within 
the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts 
on the exploration for oil 
and gas resources. 



Motorized recreational use 
would continue and increase 
under the Proposed Action. 



20 acres of Category I 
desert tortoise habitat 
would be lost to projected 
oil and gas exploration 
activity and increased 
cross country motorized 
vehicle use. 



The exploratory drilling of 
two oil and gas wells 
projected for the WSA would 
be foregone. 



Motorized recreational use 
of 150 visits would be 
foregone annually from the 
WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other 
public lands would be 
negligible. 



Designation of the WSA 
would eliminate the loss of 
20 acres and enhance the 
protection of the 1,800 
acres of Category I desert 
tortoise habitat. 



Lands within the 
recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA would be 
unavailable for energy 
exploration. However, no 
oil and gas exploration is 
projected to occur within 
this portion of the WSA. 
The dri I ling of two 
exploratory wells is 
projected to occur within 
the recommended nonsuitable 
area. No adverse impact to 
oil and gas exploration is 
projected to occur. 
Production from the wells 
is not expected. 

Motorized recreational use 
would be eliminated on the 
11,050 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness 
designation and 
approximately 75 visits 
would be foregone annually. 
The impacts of shifting 
this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 

20 acres of Category I 
desert tortoise habitat 
would be lost to projected 
oil and gas exploration 
activity and increased 
cross country motorized 
vehicle use. 



2-44 



R70E 



R71E 




MILES 



MAP 2-13 

OPOSED ACTION 
(No Wilderness) 

—I MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 
WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 



2-45 



R70E 



R71E 



T18S 




T19S - 



MAP 2-14 

ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MILES 



_f MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 
ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 



2-46 



R70E 



R71E 



T1 




T19S - 



MILES 



MAP 2-15 

| ALTERNATIVE A (Partial) 
-^J RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 

MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 

ALTERNATIVE A PARTIAL 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 



2-47 



GARRETT BUTTES (NV-050-235) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 1 1 ,835 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-16). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 1 1 ,835 acres of the Garrett Buttes WSA would remain open to all forms of appropriation under the 
mineral leasing and mining laws. Exploration for or development of potential minerals is not projected to 
occur within the WSA due to lack of interest, absence of mining claims and prospecting activity, and poor 
marketable location. There is no known indication of mineralization within the WSA. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Neither exploration nor development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to 
occur as the rock strata of the WSA are not suitable reservoirs for hydrocarbon accumulation. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA managed through an off-road vehicle 
management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in the Clark County Management Framework 
Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the WSA would be limited to roads, ways and washes and competition 
would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase from an 
estimated 180 to 255 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. Visitation within the WSA is projected to 
increase from an estimated 50 to 65 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, trapping and 
rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Garrett Buttes WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately seven percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located within the 
WSA. The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 191 AUMs 
for cattle and 188 AUMs for burros. 

Existing range improvements within the Garrett Buttes WSA consist of five developed seeps and springs. 
No other range improvements exist within the WSA's boundaries. 

A one mile fence, to be located in the northeast corner of the WSA is the only proposed range improvement 
for the area. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Excellent habitat for Gambel's quail exists within the WSA. Several bird water developments have been 
implemented within the area to promote populations of this game bird. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Garret Butte WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does exist 
north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this area. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

The All Wilderness Alternative recommends the entire 1 1 ,835 acre area as suitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-17). 



2-48 



Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 1 1 ,835 acres of the Garrett Buttes WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. Validity examinations would be conducted on any mining claims located within the WSA at 
the time a plan of operation is submitted. As of 1987, no mining claims existed within the WSA. 

The Garrett Buttes WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of metallic mineral 
resources. The WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic resources 
within 45 percent of the area and moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic mineral resources 
within 55 percent of the area (GEM 1983). (See Mineral Favorability Map). There is no known indication of 
mineralization within the WSA. Exploration for and development of potential locatable minerals are not 
projected to occur regardless of designation. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM 1983). 
Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within the WSA. (See Mineral Lease Map). Under the All Wilderness 
Alternative the WSA would be unavailable for energy leasing. Neither exploration nor development of energy 
resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to occur as the rock strata of the WSA are not suitable 
reservoirs for hydrocarbon accumulation. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, 
vehicle camping and vehicular access for hunting, trapping and rock collecting. This would eliminate about 
180 visits per year within the WSA. No recreation facilities or developments exist within or are proposed for 
the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 50 to 110 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping, rockhounding and nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Garrett Buttes WSA lies within one grazing allotment; the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately seven percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located within the 
WSA. The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 191 AUMs 
for cattle and 188 AUMs for burros. 

Existing range improvements within the Garrett Buttes- WSA consist of five developed seeps and springs. 
Yearly maintenance of these improved springs would require occasional use of vehicles along established 
ways. No other range improvements exist within the WSA's boundaries. 

A one mile fence, to be located in the northeast corner of the WSA, is the only proposed range improvement 
for the area. Construction and yearly maintenance of the fence would be done with non-motorized 
equipment. This range improvement would be subject to the wilderness protection constraints set forth in 
the Wilderness Management Policy. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Excellent habitat for Gambel's quail exists within the WSA. Several bird water developments have been 
implemented within the area to promote populations of this game bird. Maintenance of the water 
developments would be done with non- motorized equipment. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Garrett Butte WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this area. 

2-49 



Table 2-7 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Garrett Buttes 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(MO WILDERNESS) 



ALL UILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Wi Iderness 
Values 



Impacts on 
Motorized 
Recreational 
Use 

Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



Wilderness values of naturalness, 
outstanding opportunities for solitude 
and special features would be diminished 
and, in some instances, lost due to the 
sights, sounds and surface disturbances 
created by continued and the projected 
increase in motorized recreational use 
within the WSA. Special features would 
be afforded some protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future management 
actions. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit 
under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 



Dispersed motorized recreational use has 
the potential for impacting desert 
tortoise and their habitat. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve wilderness values of naturalness, 
outstanding opportunities that exist for 
solitude, and would enhance the protection 
of desert tortoise. 



Motorized recreational use of 180 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands would be negligible. 

Impacts on desert tortoise due to motorized 
vehicle use would be eliminated. 




2-50 



R69E 



T19S c^ 

36 







PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



MILES 



— » MAP 2-16 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

GARRETT BUTTES 

NV-050-235 



2-51 



r- 



T19S c^ 005 



T20S 





\« c - 



>* e M 




.:,/ 




b Walker 
Spring 









fqjm .-- 


> 




k t> . 








V 





J.-.-- 



.( r 











vfob 


^l Turkey 
. Spring 


* ■/;( 


J*_ 


rSfj. 






ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MILES 



MAP 2-17 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

GARRETT BUTTES 

NV-050-235 



2-52 



QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 



PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,145 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-18). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 12,145 acres of the Quail Springs WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. Exploration for or 
development of potential minerals is not projected to occur within the WSA due to lack of interest and 
prospecting activity, no known metallic minerals exist within the WSA and the geologic conditions are not 
favorable for the accumulation of these minerals. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) are not projected to 
occur as the WSA shows low accumulation for hydrocarbons; exploratory wells drilled outside the WSA 
have been unsuccessful. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA managed through an off-road vehicle 
management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in the Clark County Management Framework 
Plan (MFP). The ORV designation restricts high speed competitive events within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 150 to 190 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 30 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to an estimated 40 visits annually under the Proposed Action. Primary uses would be hunting and 
horseback riding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Quail Springs WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Indian Springs Allotment (not-permitted). 
Approximately 40 percent of the Indian Springs Allotment is within the WSA. The entire Indian Springs 
Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing during the past five years and an application for ephemeral 
use is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The entire WSA (12,145 acres) has been preliminarily categorized as Category II desert 
tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable viable populations and halt further 
declines in tortoise habitat values. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat 
classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

A utility corridor, extending the 6 mile width of the WSA, has been identified by potential users, including 
the Western Utility Group ("Western Regional Corridor Study" - 1986). The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines, two gas and two fiber optic lines and three access roads is projected. Construction of 
these projected utilities would physically disturb an estimated 200 acres within the WSA. 

A transportation corridor, extending the 6 mile width of the WSA, has been identified by the Department of 
Energy. It is projected that a rail line and access road could be built within this one mile wide transportation 
corridor. Construction of a rail line would physically disturb an estimated 65 acres. 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

2-53 



1) Prior to the approval of any plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to determine 
tortoise occurrence. 

2) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

3) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (storage sites, borrow pits, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering disturbed 
areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,145 acres of public land in the Quail Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-19). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 12,145 acres of the Quail Springs WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. If plans of operation are received for the thirteen existing claims in the WSA, validity exams 
would be conducted. Exploration and development of the existing claims is not projected to occur because 
geologic conditions are not favorable for the accumulation of non-energy minerals. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur due to 
withdrawal of the designated wilderness area from mineral leasing and entry. The WSA has a low potential 
for hydrocarbons and exploratory wells drilled outside the area have proved unsuccessful. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving 
and vehicular access for target shooting and hunting. This would eliminate about 150 visits per year within 
the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 30 to 60 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
target shooting, hunting and horseback riding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Quail Springs WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Indian Springs Allotment (not-permitted). 
Approximately 40 percent of the Indian Springs Allotment is within the WSA. The entire Indian Springs 
Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing during the past five years and an application for ephemeral 
use is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The entire WSA (12,145 acres) has been preliminarily categorized as Category II desert 
tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable viable populations and halt further 
declines in tortoise habitat values. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat 

2-54 



classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and a rail line would not occur due to wilderness designation. 

Table 2-8 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Quail Springs 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on Wilderness values within the WSA would be 
Wilderness negatively impacted under the Proposed 
Values Action. The projected development of 

utilities, rail lines, associated access 
routes, and increased cross country 
vehicle use would physically disturb an 
estimated 285 acres within the WSA. The 
natural perception of the entire WSA 
would be impaired by the construction of 
utilities (towers, lines, roads) and rail 
lines across the landscape. The 
outstanding opportunities for solitude 
would be lost due to the sights and 
sounds created by the aforementioned 
activities occurring in the WSA. Special 
features would be afforded some 
protection through mitigative measures 
and the implementation of future 
management actions. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve wilderness values of naturalness, 
outstanding opportunities that exist for 
solitude, and would enhance the protection 
of desert tortoise. 



Impacts on 
Motorized 
Recreational 
Use 

Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Development of 
a Rai I Line 



Motorized recreational use would benefit 
under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 



The development of utilities could occur 
as a result of the entire WSA being 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation. No adverse impacts to these 
uses are expected to occur. 

The development of a projected rail line 
could occur as a result of the entire WSA 
being recommended nonsuitable for 
wilderness designation. No adverse 
impacts to these uses are expected to 
occur. 



Motorized recreational use of 150 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands would be negligible. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the 
WSA would be unavailable for the development 
of a rail line. 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



At least 265 acres of Category II desert 
tortoise habitat will be lost due to 
utility and railroad line construction. 



The loss of 265 acres of desert tortoise 
habitat would not occur. 



2-55 



R60E 



T18S 







PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



MILES 



MAP 2-18 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

QUAIL SPRINGS 
NV-050-411 



2-56 



T18S 







ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MILES 



MAP 2-19 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

QUAIL SPRINGS 
NV-050-411 



2-57 



EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,290 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-20). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 12,290 acres of the El Dorado WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. 

It is projected that exploration would eventually occur within the WSA to define the extent of the adjacent 
Eldorado Mining District, where significant amounts of gold, sliver, and copper were produced during the 
20's and 30's. A total of 9.2 acres of surface disturbance in the northwest portion of the WSA associated 
with 3 miles of road construction, two pilot plants, drill pad construction and the trenching of an estimated 
217 test pits is projected to occur as a result of the exploration program. 

Exploration of existing mining claims within the southeast portion of the WSA is projected. A total of 11.7 
acres of surface disturbance associated with 3 miles of road construction, two pilot plants, drill pad 
construction and the trenching of an estimated 290 test pits is projected to occur as a result of the 
exploration program. 

Development or production is not projected to occur within either portion of the WSA as a result of 
exploration. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for or development of energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected to occur as the 
rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA managed through 
an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in the Clark County 
Management Framework Plan (MFP). The ORV designation would limit the number, type and location of 
competitive events within the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 
550 to 720 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 70 visits annually, it is projected that this use would 
increase to an estimated 110 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, hiking/nature study and 
horseback riding. 

Recreational developments, including Interpretative signs and an access trail could be constructed within 
the WSA as part of an interpretative program for Gregory's Arch. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The El Dorado WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately three percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle, 25 AUMs 
for burros and 9 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of one improved spring. No new range improvements 
are proposed for development within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 

2-58 



U.S. (Appendix A). The 2,700 acres of noncrucial desert tortoise habitat in the extreme western portion of 
the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category III desert tortoise habitat. The Category III 
management goal is to limit tortoise habitat and population declines to the extent possible by mitigating 
impacts. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

A utility corridor, extending the 2 mile width of the WSA, has been identified by potential users, including 
the Western Utility Group ("Western Regional Corridor Study" - 1986). The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines, one gas and one fiber optic lines and two access roads is projected. Construction of 
these projected utilities would physically disturb an estimated 85 acres within the WSA. 

Located within the WSA's boundaries is one undeveloped patented mining claim totaling 120 acres. It is 
projected that the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their patented claim. A right- 
of-way would be issued for access to the private land. Approximately .25 mile of access route, disturbing 
about one half of an acre, would be constructed within the WSA. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,290 acres of public land in the El Dorado WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-21). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 12,290 acres of the El Dorado WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. If plans of operation are received for the twenty-four existing claims in the WSA, validity exams 
would be conducted. Exploration, development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected 
to occur under the All Wilderness Alternative. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Neither exploration nor development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to 
occur as the rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, organized ORV competitive events, vehicle camping, and vehicular 
access for hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 550 visits per year within the WSA. 
Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 70 to 220 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, hiking and photography/nature study. 

The placement of interpretative signs proposed for the Gregory's Arch interpretative program would not 
take place within the WSA. A proposed hiking trail, less than one mile in length, into Gregory's Arch could 
be developed. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The El Dorado WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately three percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle, 25 AUMs 
for burros and 9 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of one improved spring. Yearly maintenance of the 
spring would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. No new range improvements are 
proposed for development within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 

2-59 



U.S. (Appendix A). The 2,700 acres of noncruciai desert tortoise habitat in the extreme western portion of 
the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category III desert tortoise habitat. The Category III 
management goal is to limit tortoise habitat and population declines to the extent possible by mitigating 
impacts. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and the establishment of a utility corridor would not occur due to 
wilderness designation. 

Located within the WSA's boundaries is one patented mining claim totaling 120 acres. It is projected that 
the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their patented claim. A rights-of-way would 
be issued for access to the private land. Approximately .25 mile of access route, disturbing about one half 
of an acre, would be constructed within the WSA. 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 9,570 acres out of 12,290 acres of public land, would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. The remaining 2,720 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-22). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 9,570 acres of the El Dorado WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. If plans of operation are received for the thirteen existing claims in the WSA, validity exams 
would be conducted. Exploration, development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected 
to occur due to low favorability for the occurrence of metallic and non-metallic minerals and moderate 
favorability for the occurrence of uranium. 

The 2,720 acres of the El Dorado WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mining laws. 

The WSA is located adjacent to the Eldorado Mining District, where significant amounts of gold, sliver, and 
copper were produced during the 20's and 30's. It is projected that exploration would eventually occur 
within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA to define the extent of the mining district's 
mineralization. 

Exploration efforts within the northwest portion of the recommended nonsuitable area is projected. A total 
of 9.2 acres of surface disturbance primarily associated with 3 miles of road construction and two pilot 
plants, drill pad construction and the trenching of an estimated 217 test pits is projected to occur as a result 
of the exploration program. 

Exploration of existing mining claims for precious metals within the southeast portion of the nonsuitable 
area is projected. A total of 2.2 acres of surface disturbance primarily associated with .5 mile of road 
construction, drill pad construction and the trenching of an estimated 65 test pits is projected to occur as 
a result of the exploration program. 

Development or production is not projected to occur within either portion of the nonsuitable area as a result 
of exploration. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Neither exploration nor development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to 
occur as the rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons and the 
designation of 9,570 acres as wilderness. 



2-60 



Recreation Management Actions 

The 9,570 acre suitable portion of the El Dorado WSA would be closed to cross country motorized 
recreational pursuits such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, organized ORV events and 
vehicular access for hunting and trapping. This would eliminate about 280 visits per year within the suitable 
area. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 55 to 190 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, hiking and photography/nature study. 

The placement of interpretative signs proposed for the Gregory's Arch interpretative program would not 
take place within the suitable portion of the WSA. A proposed hiking trail, less than one mile in length, into 
Gregory's Arch would be developed. 

The entire nonsuitable portion of the WSA, including 3.5 miles of projected road associated with mineral 
exploration, could remain open to motorized vehicles. Motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, 
vehicular access for hunting and organized ORV events, could take place within the WSA as directed by the 
off-road vehicle designation (limited use) specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). 
The ORV designation would limit and place restrictions on competitive events within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 270 to 520 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 15 visits annually within the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. It is projected that this use would increase to an estimated 25 visits annually. Primary 
uses would be hunting, hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The El Dorado WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately three percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle, 25 AUMs 
for burros and 9 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of one improved spring. Yearly maintenance of the 
spring would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. No new range improvements are 
proposed for development within the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The 2,700 acres of noncrucial desert tortoise habitat in the extreme western portion of 
the WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category III desert tortoise habitat. The Category III 
management goal is to limit tortoise habitat and population declines to the extent possible by mitigating 
impacts. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities and the establishment of a utility corridor would not occur due to 
blockage of the proposed corridor by wilderness designation of a portion of the WSA. 

Located within the recommended suitable area's boundary is one undeveloped patented mining claim 
totaling 120 acres. It is projected that the private land owners would exercise their rights of access to their 
patented claim. A right-of-way would be issued for access to the private land. Approximately .25 mile of 
access route, disturbing about one half of an acre, would be constructed within the WSA. 



2-61 



Table 2-9 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - El Dorado 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



PARTIAL UILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Wilderness Values 



Wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation 
that exist within 6,600 
acres of the WSA would be 
diminished and, in some 
instances, lost. The 
sights, sounds and surface 
disturbances created by 
increased motorized 
recreational use, projected 
mineral exploration and 
utility construction and 
maintenance would adversely 
impact wilderness values. 
The desert tortoise would 
be afforded some protection 
through mitigative measures 
and the implementation of 
future management actions. 
Wilderness values would be 
retained within the 
remaining 5,690 acres of 
the WSA. 



Designation would preserve 
wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, 
and primitive recreation 
and the identified special 
features that exist within 
12,257 of the WSA's 12,290 
acres. 



Wilderness values, the two 
varieties of penstemon and 
the special geological 
value of Gregory's Arch 
would be retained within an 
estimated 8,970 of the 
9,570 acres of the 
recommended suitable area. 
Wilderness values on the 
remaining 600 acres of the 
suitable portion would be 
diminished and, in some 
instances lost, as a result 
of unauthorized off-road 
motorized vehicle use, 
mineral exploration and 
utility line construction 
and maintenance projected 
to occur on adjacent public 
lands. Wilderness values 
would be lost on the 2,720 
acres recommended 
nonsui table for wilderness 
designation as continued 
and increased cross country 
motorized vehicle use, 
mineral exploration and 
construction of utilities 
would adversely impact the 
area. The desert tortoise 
would be afforded some 
protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future 
management actions. 



Impacts on 
Exploration for and 
Development of Non- 
Energy Mineral 
Resources 



Mineral resources within 
the WSA would be available 
for exploration and 
development. The 
exploration of existing 
mining claims is projected 
to occur within the WSA. 
There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the 
exploration for and 
development of mineral 
resources. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the 
WSA. Mineral exploration 
activity projected to occur 
without wilderness 
designation would not take 
place due to the lack of 
valid claims if designation 
occurs. Development of 
precious metal resources is 
not projected to take 
place. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on unclaimed 
lands within the suitable 
portion. Exploration of 
existing mining claims is 
projected within the 
nonsuitable portion. There 
are no projected adverse 
impacts on the exploration 
of mineral resources within 
this area. Development of 
precious metal resources is 
not projected to take place 
within either the 
recommended suitable or 
nonsuitable areas. 



2-62 



Table 2-9 Continued 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - El Dorado 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



PARTIAL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on Motorized 
Recreational Use 



Impacts on 
Recreation 
Management 



Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



Motorized recreational use 
would benefit under the 
Proposed Action. No 
adverse impacts to this use 
is expected to occur. 



The development of an 
interpretive recreational 
program would benefit as a 
result of the entire WSA 
being recommended 
nonsui table for wilderness 
designation. No adverse 
impacts to this use are 
expected to occur. 



The development of 
utilities could occur as a 
result of the entire WSA 
being recommended 
nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation. No adverse 
impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

Impacts from dispersed 
motorized vehicle use are 
possible. 



Motorized recreational use 
of 550 visits would be 
foregone annually from the 
WSA. Less desirable race 
routes would be utilized on 
adjacent public lands for 
competitive motorcycle 
events. The adverse 
impacts of shifting this 
use to other public lands 
would be marginal. 

The proposed interpretative 
program could not be fully 
implemented under the All 
Wilderness Alternative as 
interpretative signing 
would be precluded. 
Designation of the WSA as 
wilderness would not 
adversely affect this 
program. 

Under the All Wilderness 
Alternative, the WSA would 
be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. 
Less desirable routes would 
be utilized by potential 
uti lity users. 



Added protection of desert 
tortoise habitat due to 
elimination on motorized 
vehicle use. 



Motorized recreational use 
would be eliminated on the 
11,050 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness 
designation and 
approximately 75 visits 
would be foregone annually. 
The impacts of shifting 
this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 



Motorized recreational use 
would be eliminated on the 
11,050 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness 
designation and 
approximately 75 visits 
would be foregone annually. 
The impacts of shifting 
this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 

Under Alternative A the 
recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA would be 
unavai lable for the 
development of utilities. 
Less desireable routes 
would be utilized by 
potential utility users. 

Impacts from dispersed 
motorized vehicle use are 
possible. 



2-63 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 







PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness) 



MILES 



= 5 MAP 2-20 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

EL DORADO 
'-050-423 



2-64 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 







MILES 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



— a MAP 2-21 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

EL DORADO 
NV-050-423 



2-65 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 







ALTERNATIVE A (PARTIAL) 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MILES 



MAP 2-22 

EL DORADO 

NV-050-423 

ALTERNATIVE A PARTIAL 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 



2-e 



IRETEBA PEAKS (NV-050-438) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 14,994 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-23). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 14,994 acres of the Ireteba Peaks WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. 

The northern portion of the WSA is located adjacent to the Eldorado Mining District and the southern half 
of the WSA abuts against the Searchlight Mining District. Both mining districts produced significant amounts 
of gold, sliver, and copper the first half of this century. It is projected that exploration would eventually occur 
within the northern and southern portions of the WSA to define the extent of the mining districts 
mineralization. 

Exploration for precious metals within the northern portion of the WSA is projected to involve 19.7 acres 
of surface disturbance associated with 3 miles of road construction and two pilot plants, drill pad 
construction and the trenching of an estimated 290 test pits. Exploration within the southeast portion of 
the WSA is projected to involve 26.2 acres of surface disturbance associated with 3 miles of road 
construction and three pilot plants, drill pad construction and the trenching of an estimated 350 test pits. 

Stipulations would be placed on mineral exploration activities within the southeast portion of the WSA in 
order to mitigate potential impacts to the desert tortoise. Such mitigative stipulations could require the 
removal of tortoise prior to any surface disturbance and the relocation of access routes away from the 
habitat area. 

Development or production is not projected to occur within either portion of the WSA as a result of 
exploration. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of oil, gas and geothermal 
resources (GEM 1983). (See Mineral Favorability Map.) Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within the 
WSA. Exploration for or development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected 
to occur as the rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The area would 
be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in 
the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). The ORV designation would limit the number, type 
and location of competitive events within the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase 
from an estimated 65 to 130 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 50 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to an estimated 80 visits annually under the Proposed Action. Primary uses would be hunting and 
hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately four percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within WSA would utilize an estimated 74 AUMs for cattle, 33 AUMs for 
burros and 13 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

No range improvements or facilities exist within the WSA. Two springs are proposed for development within 

2-67 



the northeast portion of the WSA. Construction and maintenance of the springs would be accomplished 
without the use of motorized equipment. These improvements would be subject to the wilderness protection 
constraints set forth under the Wilderness Management Policy. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The extreme southern tip (1,800 acres) of the WSA has been preliminarily categorized 
as Category II desert tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable, viable 
populations and halt further declines in tortoise habitat. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities within the WSA could be developed. A possible route for a designated 
utility corridor, extending the 3 mile width of the northern tip of the WSA, has been identified by a potential 
user (Southern California Edison Co.). It is projected that one 500 kv transmission line and one access road 
could be built within a one mile wide utility corridor. General mitigation could require the removal of some 
topsoil. Construction of these projected utilities would physically disturb an estimated 25 acres within the 
WSA. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 14,994 acres of public land in the Ireteba Peaks WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-24). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid and existing rights, the 14,994 acres of the Ireteba Peaks WSA recommended as suitable 
for wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing 
and mining laws. Validity examinations would be conducted on any mining claims located within the WSA 
at the time a plan of operations is submitted. As of 1987, a total of 19 mining claims covering approximately 
380 acres existed within the WSA. (See Mining Claims Map). 

Approximately six percent (900 acres) of the WSA is considered to have moderate favorability for the 
occurrence of metallic minerals and the remaining portion is considered to have low favorability. The entire 
WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of non-metallic minerals and moderate 
favorability for the occurrence of uranium (GEM 1983). (See Mineral Favorability Map). Exploration, 
development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected to occur under the All Wilderness 
Alternative. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of oil, gas and geothermal 
resources (GEM 1983). Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within the WSA. The WSA would be 
unavailable for energy leasing under the All Wilderness Alternative. Neither exploration nor development of 
potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to occur as the rock structure of the WSA is 
not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 
Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting and 
trapping. This would eliminate about 65 visits per year within the suitable area. Vehicular use would 
continue along the boundary roads. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 50 to 150 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, hiking and photography/nature study. 



2-68 



Grazing Management Actions 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately four percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 74 AUMs for cattle, 33 AUMs 
for burros and 13 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

No range improvements or facilities exist within the WSA. Two springs are proposed for development within 
the northeast portion of the WSA. Construction and maintenance of the springs would be accomplished 
without the use of motorized equipment. These improvements would be subject to the wilderness protection 
constraints set forth in the Wilderness Management Policy. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The extreme southern tip (1,800 acres) of the WSA has been preliminarily categorized 
as Category II desert tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable, viable 
populations and halt further declines in tortoise habitat. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Development of utilities would not occur within the area due to wilderness designation. 

ALTERNATIVE A (Partial Wilderness Alternative) 

Under this alternative, 10,155 acres out of 14,994 acres of public land, would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. The remaining 4,839 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-25). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 10,155 acres of the Ireteba Peaks WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. If plans of operation are received for the nine existing claims in this area, validity exams would 
be conducted. Exploration, development, or production of potential mineral resources is not projected to 
occur under Alternative A. 

The 4,839 acres of the Ireteba Peaks WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mining laws. As of 1987, 10 claims covering 
approximately 200 acres existed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

The northern portion of the nonsuitable area is located adjacent to the Eldorado Mining District and the 
southern portion of the nonsuitable area abuts against the Searchlight Mining District. Both mining districts 
produced significant amounts of gold, sliver, and copper the first half of this century. It is projected that 
exploration would eventually occur within the northern and southern portions of the nonsuitable area to 
define the extent of the mining districts mineralization. 

Within the northern portion of the nonsuitable area, a total of 18.1 acres of surface disturbance primarily 
associated with 2.5 miles of road construction and two pilot plants, drill pad construction and the trenching 
of an estimated 240 test pits is projected. Within the southeast portion of the nonsuitable area, 26.2 acres 
of surface disturbance primarily associated with 3 miles of road construction and three pilot plants, drill pad 
construction and the trenching of an estimated 350 test pits is projected. 

Stipulations would be placed on mineral exploration activities within the southeast portion of the WSA in 
order to mitigate potential impacts to the desert tortoise. Such mitigative stipulations could require the 
removal of tortoise prior to any surface disturbance and the relocation of access routes away from the 
habitat area. 

2-69 



Development or production is not projected to occur within either portion of the WSA as a result of 
exploration. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be unavailable for energy leasing under Alternative 
A. Exploration for or development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected to 
occur as the rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

The 10,155 acre suitable portion of the Ireteba Peaks WSA would be closed to motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting and trapping 
access. This would eliminate about 15 visits per year within the suitable area. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 30 to 100 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, hiking and photography/nature study. 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the 4,839 acre nonsuitable portion of the WSA. The area 
would be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified 
in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). The ORV designation would limit the number, type 
and location of competitive events within the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase 
from an estimated 50 to 115 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 20 visits annually within the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. It is projected that this use would increase to an estimated 40 visits annually. Primary 
uses would be hunting, hiking/nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately four percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the recommended suitable area would utilize an estimated 1,257 
AUMs for cattle, 567 AUMs for burros and 215 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

The portion of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the recommended nonsuitable area of the WSA 
would utilize an estimated 592 AUMs for cattle, 267 AUMs for burros and 102 AUMs for bighorn sheep. 

No range improvements or facilities exist within the WSA. Two springs are proposed for development within 
the northeast portion of the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Construction and maintenance of 
the springs would be accomplished without the use of motorized equipment. These improvements would 
be subject to the wilderness protection constraints set forth in the Wilderness Management Policy. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The extreme southern tip (1,800 acres) of the WSA has been preliminarily categorized 
as Category II desert tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable, viable 
populations and halt further declines in tortoise habitat. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under Alternative A, utilities within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA could be developed. 
A possible route for a designated utility corridor, extending the 3 mile width of the northern tip of the 
nonsuitable area, has been identified by a potential user (Southern California Edison Co.). It is projected that 
one 500 kv transmission line and one access road could be built within a one mile wide utility corridor. 
General mitigation could require the removal of some topsoil. Construction of these projected utilities would 
physically disturb an estimated 25 acres within the recommended nonsuitable area. 

2-70 



Table 2-10 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Ireteba Peaks 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



PARTIAL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 

Wi Iderness Values 



Wilderness values of 
naturalness, and any 
outstanding opportunities 
for solitude that exist 
within 4,800 acres of the 
WSA would be diminished 
and, in some instances, 
lost. The sights, sounds 
and surface disturbances 
created by increased 
motorized recreational use, 
projected mineral 
exploration and utility 
construction and 
maintenance would 
negatively impact 
wilderness values. Desert 
tortoise would be afforded 
some protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future 
management actions. 
Wilderness values would be 
retained within the 
remaining 10,194 acres of 
the WSA. 



Designation would preserve 
wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, 
and the special features of 
desert tortoise and 
sensitive plants that exist 
within the WSA. 



Wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude 
and the sensitive plant 
species would be retained 
within the 10,155 acres of 
the recommended suitable 
area. Wilderness values 
would be lost on the 4,839 
acres recommended 
nonsui table for wilderness 
designation as continued 
and increased cross country 
motorized vehicle use, 
projected mineral 
exploration and 
construction of utilities 
would negatively impact the 
area. The desert tortoise 
would be afforded some 
protection through 
mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future 
management actions. 



Impacts on 
Exploration for and 
Development of Non- 
Energy Mineral 
Resources 



Mineral resources within 
the WSA would be available 
for exploration and 
development. Exploration 
for precious metals is 
projected to occur within 
the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts 
on the exploration for and 
development of mineral 
resources. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on a 1 1 
unclaimed lands within the 
WSA. Development of 
precious metal resources is 
not projected to take 
place. 



Exploration and development 
of mineral resources would 
be foregone on a 1 1 
unclaimed lands within the 
recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA. 
Exploration for precious 
metals is projected within 
the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. There 
are no projected adverse 
impacts on the exploration 
of mineral resources within 
this area. Development of 
precious metal resources is 
not projected to take place 
within either the 
recommended suitable or 
nonsuitable areas. 



2-71 



Table 2-10 Continued 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Ireteba Peaks 



ISSUE TOPICS 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO UILDERNESS) 



ALL UILDERNESS 



PARTIAL UILDERNESS 



Impacts on Motorized 
Recreational Use 



Motorized recreational use 
would benefit under the 
Proposed Action. No 
adverse impacts to this use 
is expected to occur. 



Motorized recreational use 
of 65 visits would be 
foregone annually from the 
WSA. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other 
public lands would be 
negligible. 



Motorized recreational use 
would be eliminated on the 
10,155 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness 
designation and 
approximately 15 visits 
would be foregone annually. 
The impacts of shifting 
this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 



Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



The development of 
utilities could occur as a 
result of the entire WSA 
being recommended 
nonsui table for wilderness 
designation. No adverse 
impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

Loss of thirty acres of 
habitat due to mineral 
exploration and motorized 
vehicle use. 



Under the All Wilderness 
Alternative, the WSA would 
be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. 
Less desirable routes would 
be utilized by potential 
uti lity users. 



Increased protection of 
tortoise habitat and no 
loss of habitat due to 
mining or vehicle use. 



The development of 
utilities could occur as a 
result of the recommended 
nonsui table area not being 
designated wilderness. No 
adverse impacts to this use 
are expected to occur. 



Loss of thirty acres of 
habitat due to mineral 
exploration and motorized 
vehicle use. 



2-72 



R64E 



T26S 



T27S 




o 



PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness) 



MILES 



MAP 2-23 



WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

IRETEBA PEAKS 

NV-050-438 



2-73 



R64E 



T26S_ 



T27S 







MILES 



3 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2-24 



ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

IRETEBA PEAKS 

NV-050-438 



2-74 



R64E 



T26S_ 




T26S 
T 27 S 






T27S 









6 


SprtKjJ 


~^j 







MILES 



ALTERNATIVE A (PARTIAL) 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 

MAP 2-25 

=* ALTERNATIVE A PARTIAL 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

IRETEBA PEAKS 

NV-050-438 



2-75 



JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 3,466 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-26). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 3,466 acres of the Jumbo Springs WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. As of 1987, no mining 
claims existed within the WSA. Exploration for or development of potential minerals is not projected to occur 
within the WSA due to a general low favorability, lack of interest, absence of mining claims and prospecting 
activity, and poor marketable location. 

Energy Resources Action 

Exploration for or development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected to occur 
as the rock structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The area would 
be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in 
the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). Motorized travel within the WSA would be limited 
to existing roads, ways and washes and competition would be limited to non-speed events. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 8 to 16 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action. Visitation within 
the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 20 to 40 visits annually. Primary uses would be hunting, 
trapping and rockhounding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Jumbo Springs WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately two percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located within the WSA. 
The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle 
and 54 AUMs for burros. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

The Jumbo Springs WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release 
plan identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of one water development project. If suitable terrain is found, the water development would 
utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged corrugated 
tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1 ,600 gallon storage tanks would be associated with 
the water development project. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Jumbo Springs WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist two miles north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this 
area. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 3,466 acres of public land in the Jumbo Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-27). 



2-76 



Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid and existing rights, the 3,466 acres of the Jumbo Springs WSA recommended as suitable 
for wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing 
and mining laws. 

There is no known indication of mineralization within the WSA. Exploration for and development of potential 
beatable minerals are not projected to occur regardless of designation. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The WSA would be unavailable for energy leasing under the All Wilderness Alternative. Neither exploration 
for nor development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is projected to occur as the rock 
structure of the WSA is not suitable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, vehicle camping and vehicular access for hunting, trapping and 
rock collecting. This would eliminate about 8 visits per year within the WSA. No recreation facilities or 
developments exist within or are proposed for the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 20 to 60 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting, trapping, rockhounding and nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Jumbo Springs WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Gold Butte Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately two percent of the Gold Butte Allotment, which has one permittee, is located within the WSA. 
The portion of the Gold Butte Allotment located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle 
and 54 AUMs for burros. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

The Jumbo Springs WSA offers potential year long bighorn sheep habitat. A 1983 bighorn sheep release 
plan identified release sites within the WSA. Release of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the 
implementation of one water development project. If suitable terrain is found, the water development would 
utilize a natural slickrock apron. Should natural slickrock not be found, a 30' by 50' camouflaged corrugated 
tin apron would be placed on the ground. Two painted 1 ,600 gallon storage tanks would be associated with 
the water development project. Construction and yearly maintenance of the water development would be 
done with non-motorized equipment. 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). An initial categorization has been completed (8/89) which did not classify any of the 
Jumbo Springs WSA as either Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat. Since desert tortoise habitat does 
exist two miles north and east of the WSA, future population studies may lead to formal categorization of this 
area. 



2-77 



Table 2-11 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Jumbo Springs 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(HO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Wi Iderness 
Values 



Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



No long-term negative impacts to the 
natural qualities would occur within the 
Jumbo Springs WSA under the Proposed 
Action because no surface disturbing 
actions are projected. 



No activities which would adversely 
impact desert tortoise habitat are 
projected. 



Designation of the Jumbo Springs WSA would 
preserve the less than outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
unconfined recreation. In addition, the 
naturalness values that exist within the WSA 
would be retained. 

Wilderness designation would provide 
additional protection for desert tortoise 
through elimination of possible motorized 
vehicle use. 




2-78 



R70E 



T20S 




nonth 



MILES 



PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



MAP 2-26 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

JUMBO SPRINGS 
NV-050-236 



2-79 



R70E 



T20S 




nonth 






MILES 



ALL WILDERNESS 



RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2-27 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

JUMBO SPRINGS 
K)50-236 



2-80 



NELLIS ABC (NV-050-04R-1 5) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 5,718 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-28). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 5,718 acres of the Nellis WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would remain 
open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. As of 1 987, no mining claims 
existed within the WSA. No known metallic minerals exist within the WSA as the geologic conditions are not 
favorable for the accumulation of these minerals. Exploration for or development of potential minerals is not 
projected to occur within the WSA due to lack of interest and prospecting activity. 

Energy Resource Actions 

Exploration for and development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) are not projected to 
occur as the WSA shows a low potential for the accumulation of hydrocarbons and exploratory wells drilled 
outside the WSA have been unsuccessful. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The area would 
be managed through an off-road vehicle management plan and designations (limited use) as specified in 
the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). The ORV designation limits high speed competitive 
events within the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 120 to 170 
visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 20 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 
increase to an estimated 30 visits annually under the Proposed Action. Primary uses would be hunting, 
target shooting and horseback riding. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Nellis ABC WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Las Vegas Valley Allotment (not-permitted). 
Approximately 10 percent of the Las Vegas Valley Allotment is within the WSA. The entire Las Vegas Valley 
Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing during the past five years and an application for ephemeral use 
is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The entire Nellis ABC WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category II desert 
tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable, viable populations and halt further 
declines in tortoise habitat. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities could be developed within the WSA. The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines is projected within a utility corridor one mile wide, extending the 7 mile width of the WSA. 
This projection does not include four buried utility lines (two gas and two fiber optic) included in the draft 
EIS proposed action projection. It was determined, following additional analysis of the desert tortoise habitat 
issue, that the impacts resulting from construction of these four lines could not be allowed in a Category II 
tortoise habitat area so they have been deleted. 

Under the Proposed Action a rail line within the WSA could be developed. A possible route for a designated 
transportation corridor, extending the 7 mile width of the WSA, has been identified by the Department of 
Energy. Co-location of the railroad and utility lines will be considered. 



2-81 



Specific mitigating measures designed to protect the desert tortoise and minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
will include at a minimum: 

1) Prior to any construction being authorized, a site specific inventory will be conducted to determine the 
amount of habitat involved, the number of animals at risk and the cumulative effect of proposed and existing 
projects. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) Access road and tower site locations will be located (or relocated) to avoid impacting tortoises. 

4) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

5) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

6) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

7) Access will be limited to one road within the corridor to be used by all right-of-way holders. Access to 
individual tower locations will be by the shortest and/or least tortoise impacting route off the common 
access road. 

8) Tower to tower travel during survey, design, construction and future maintenance will not be allowed 
except on the common access road, approved spur roads and in areas cleared for usage as a result of 
the site specific inventory. 

9) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 5,718 acres of public land in the Nellis ABC WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-29). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resources Action 

Subject to valid and existing rights, the 5,718 acres of the Nellis ABC WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. No known metallic minerals exist within the WSA as the geologic conditions are not favorable 
for the accumulation of these minerals. Exploration for and development of potential mineral resources are 
not projected to occur. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The WSA would be unavailable for energy leasing under the All Wilderness Alternative. Neither exploration 
nor development of potential energy resources is projected to occur as the WSA shows a low potential for 
the accumulation of hydrocarbons and exploratory wells drilled outside the area have proved unsuccessful. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving and vehicular access for target shooting and hunting. This would 
eliminate about 120 visits per year within the WSA. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 20 to 40 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
target shooting, hunting and horseback riding. 



2-82 



Grazing Management Actions 

The Nellis WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Las Vegas Valley Allotment (not-permitted). 
Approximately 10 percent of the Las Vegas Valley Allotment is within the WSA. The entire Las Vegas Valley 
Allotment has been withdrawn from grazing during the past five years and an application for ephemeral use 
is not projected. There are no existing or proposed range improvements in the WSA. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U.S. (Appendix A). The entire Nellis ABC WSA has been preliminarily categorized as Category II desert 
tortoise habitat. The Category II management goal is to maintain stable, viable populations and halt further 
declines in tortoise habitat. Categorization replaces the existing crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities or a railroad line would not occur within the area due to wilderness 
designation. 




2-83 



Table 2-12 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Nellis ABC 



IMPACT TOPIC 



Impacts on 
Ui Iderness 
Values 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on 
Levels of 
Motorized 
Recreational 
Use 



Impacts on 
Development of 
Utilities 

Impacts on 
Development of 
a Rai I Line 

Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



Wilderness values within the WSA would be 
impacted under the Proposed Action. The 
projected development of utilities, rail 
lines, associated access routes, and 
increased cross country vehicle use would 
physically disturb an estimated 258 acres 
within the USA. The natural perception 
of the entire WSA would be impaired by 
the construction of utilities (towers, 
lines, roads) and rail lines across the 
landscape. The less than outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation would be lost due to the 
audio and visual distractions from the 
aforementioned activities occurring in 
the WSA. 

Motorized recreational use would benefit 
from nondesi gnat ion as the entire study 
area would remain open to vehicles and 
new access routes would be developed in 
association with projected utilities 
construction. No adverse impacts to this 
use is expected to occur. 

The development of utilities would be 
possible. 



Development of a rail line could occur. 



258 acres of habitat would be lost by 
development activities. The remaining 
habitat would be seriously fragmented. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve wilderness values of naturalness 
and would enhance the protection of desert 
tortoise. 



Motorized recreational use of 120 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
Impacts of shifting this use to other public 
lands would be negligible. 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, a rail 
line could not be developed within the WSA. 



Wilderness designation would enhance the 
protection of desert tortoise by precluding 
activities such as the development of 
utilities, a rail line and associated access 
roads within the WSA. 



2-84 



NV-050-04R-15A 



R6 1 E 



NV-050-04R-15B 




T19S 



MILES 



PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



MAP 2-28 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

NELLIS 
NV-050-04R- 1 5 A, 1 5B, 1 5C 



2-85 



NV-050-04R-15A 



NV-050-04R-15B 




T19S 



uorztln 



MILES 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2-29 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

NELLIS 
N V-050-04R- 1 5 A, 1 5B, 1 5C 



2-86 



EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 2,694 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-30). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

The 2,694 acres of the Evergreen WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation would 
remain open to all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and mining laws. No known metallic 
and nonmetallic minerals exist within the WSA as the geologic conditions are not favorable for the 
accumulation of these minerals (GEM 1983). Exploration for or development of potential minerals is not 
projected to occur within the WSA due to lack of interest, absence of mining claims and prospecting activity. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the one existing (but so far unused) material site is projected and will 
result in the disturbance of 30 acres. The material site is located on a right-of-way issued in perpetuity and 
may be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to the approval of any plan of operations a site specific survey will be conducted to determine 
tortoise occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the crucial tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

6) Designation of travel routes and closure areas to avoid motorized use in areas of crucial habitat. 

7) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The Evergreen ABC WSA is considered to have moderate favorability for the occurrence of oil and gas and 
low favorability for the occurrence of geothermal resources (GEM 1983). At present no oil and gas or 
geothermal leases exist within the WSA. No exploratory wells have been drilled within the WSA or in nearby 
areas. Exploration for or development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) is not projected 
to occur within the WSA. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreation use could continue within the WSA as directed by the 
Caliente Resource Area ORV Designations of 1984 (limited use). Motorized recreational uses are projected 
to increase from an estimated 35 to 60 visits annually. No recreational facilities exist within or are proposed 
for the WSA. 

Potential management actions could restrict motorized recreational use within the WSA consequential to 

2-87 



categorization of the area's desert tortoise habitat. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 10 visits annually. It is projected that this use would 

increase to an estimated 15 visits annually under the Proposed Action. Primary uses would be hunting and 

trapping. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Evergreen WSA lies within two grazing allotments, Lower Lake East Allotment (ephemeral) and the 
Delamar Allotment (ephemeral). Approximately four percent of the Lower Lake East Allotment and less 
than one percent of the Delamar Allotment are within the WSA. The portion of the Lower Lake East Allotment 
located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 26 AUMs for cattle and the portion of the Delamar 
Allotment would utilize an estimated 30 AUMs. 

Existing range improvements within the Evergreen WSA consist of one small earthen reservoir. Maintenance 
of the range improvement requires occasional use of vehicles. No other range improvements exist within 
the WSA and none are proposed. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 2,694 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA have been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

Under the Proposed Action utilities could be developed within the WSA. The construction of five 500 kv 
transmission lines is projected within a utility corridor one mile wide, extending the 9 mile length of the 
WSA. This projection does not include four buried utility lines (two gas and two fiber optic) included in the 
draft EIS proposed action projection. It was determined, following additional analysis of the desert tortoise 
habitat issue, that the impacts resulting from construction of these four lines could not be allowed in a 
Category I tortoise habitat area so they have been deleted. 

Specific mitigating measures designed to protect the desert tortoise and minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
will include at a minimum: 

1) Prior to any construction being authorized, a site specific inventory will be conducted to determine the 
amount of habitat involved, the number of animals at risk and the cumulative effect of proposed and existing 
projects. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) Access road and tower site locations will be located (or relocated) to avoid impacting tortoises. 

4) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of new or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. 

5) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

6) Fencing of specific locations (material sites, exploration trenches, etc.) to prevent tortoises from entering 
disturbed areas. 

7) Access will be limited to one road within the corridor to be used by all right-of-way holders. Access to 
individual tower locations will be by the shortest and/or least tortoise impacting route off the common 
access road. 

8) Tower to tower travel during survey, design, construction and future maintenance will not be allowed 
except on the common access road, approved spur roads and in areas cleared for usage as a result of 
the site specific inventory. 

9) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

2-88 



"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 2,694 acres of public land in the Evergreen WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-31). 

Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions 

Subject to valid existing rights, the 2,694 acres of the Evergreen WSA recommended as suitable for 
wilderness designation would be withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mineral leasing and 
mining laws. No known metallic and nonmetallic minerals exist within the WSA as the geologic conditions 
are not favorable for the accumulation of these minerals (GEM 1983). Exploration for and development of 
potential mineral resources are not projected to occur. 

Energy Resource Actions 

The WSA would be withdrawn from energy leasing under the All Wilderness Alternative. Exploration for 
and development of potential energy resources (oil, gas, geothermal) would not occur. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the entire WSA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits such as off-road vehicle driving, vehicle camping, and vehicular access for hunting and trapping. 
This would eliminate about 35 visits per year within the WSA. Vehicular use would continue along the WSA's 
boundary roads. 

Non-motorized recreation is projected to increase from 10 to 25 visits annually. Primary uses would be 
hunting and nature study. 

Grazing Management Actions 

The Evergreen WSA lies within two grazing allotments, Lower Lake East Allotment (ephemeral) and the 
Delamar Allotment (ephemeral). Approximately four percent of the Lower Lake East Allotment and less 
than one percent of the Delamar Allotment are within the WSA. The portion of the Lower Lake East Allotment 
located within the WSA would utilize an estimated 26 AUMs for cattle and the portion of the Delamar 
Allotment would utilize an estimated 30 AUMs. 

Existing range improvements within the Evergreen WSA consist of one small earthen reservoir. Maintenance 
of the range improvement may require the occasional use of motorized equipment. No other range 
improvements exist within the WSA and none are proposed. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

Beginning in 1989, in response to the November 1988 "Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On the Public 
Lands: A Rangewide Plan", BLM and other agencies will start categorizing all desert tortoise habitat in the 
U. S. The 2,694 acres of crucial habitat in the WSA have been preliminarily categorized as Category I desert 
tortoise habitat (see Appendix A). Category I and II habitats require extremely intensive management 
practices in order to maintain viable populations of desert tortoise. Categorization replaces the existing 
crucial/noncrucial habitat classification. 

Realty Management Actions 

The projected development of utilities would not occur within the WSA. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the one existing (but so far unused) material site is projected and will 
result in the disturbance of 30 acres. The material site is located on a right-of-way issued in perpetuity and 

2-89 



may be developed at the discretion of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). 

Mitigation designed to protect the desert tortoise and its habitat will be required for any surface disturbing 
actions and will include the following measures at a minimum: 

1) Prior to sand and gravel removal, a site specific survey will be conducted to determine tortoise 
occurrence. 

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be consulted (Section 7). 

3) In Category I and II areas no net loss of habitat will be allowed. This will require acquisition of or 
enhancement of existing habitat to replace habitat lost through disturbance. This may also require providing 
replacement material sites for NDOT outside of the crucial tortoise habitat. 

4) Relocation of individual tortoises at risk to new locations. (Note to reader - Relocation of tortoise has 
not generally proved successful and is not generally favored by the Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary 
mitigating measure.) 

5) Fencing of material sites to prevent tortoises from entering. 

6) Rehabilitation of disturbed sites to restore damaged habitat. 

"No net loss of habitat" refers to tortoise habitat in all of southern Nevada. Therefore, habitat lost due to 
actions within WSAs, whether designated wilderness or not, may be mitigated within the WSA or on lands 
elsewhere in southern Nevada which provide tortoise habitat. Similarly, habitat within WSAs could be 
enhanced to offset habitat losses in other areas. Both cases will depend on site specific environmental 
analysis and mitigating measures developed in response to a specific activity proposal. 




Table 2-13 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Evergreen ABC 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on Wilderness values within the WSA would be 
Wilderness impaired under the Proposed Action. The 
Values projected development of utilities, 

increased cross country vehicle use and 
extraction of sand and gravel would 
physically disturb approximately 322 
acres within the entire WSA. The natural 
perception of the entire WSA would be 
impaired by the construction of utilities 
(towers, lines, roads) across the 
landscape. The less than outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation would be further diminished by 
the audio and visual distractions from 
the aforementioned activities occurring 
in the WSA. 



Designating the WSA as wilderness would 
preserve values of naturalness and would 
enhance protection of desert tortoise. 
Extraction of sand and gravel is projected 
to physically disturb an estimated 30 acres. 
The visual perception of naturalness would 
be impaired on the entire WSA. 
Opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation within the entire WSA would be 
diminished during periods of active sand and 
gravel operations due to audio and visual 
distractions. 



Impacts on Motorized recreational use could continue 
Levels of within the WSA under the Proposed Action, 
Motorized benefiting this activity. However, 
Recreational potential and discretionary management 
Use actions may restrict this use as a result 

of categorization of the area's tortoise 

habitat. 

Impacts on The proposed action would allow the 
Development of development of five transmission lines in 
Utilities the WSA, however, four buried utility 
lines would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise 
in Category I habitat. 



Impacts on 
Existing 
Material Site 
Rights-of-Way 

Impacts on 
Threatened and 
Endangered 
Species/Desert 
Tortoise 



No impact to use of existing material 
site right-of-way subject to mitigation 
for the desert tortoise. 



322 acres of Category I desert tortoise 
habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction 
and motorized recreational use. 



Motorized recreational use of 35 visits 
would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other 
public lands would be negligible. 



Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 
utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 



No impact to use of existing material site 
right-of-way subject to mitigation for the 
desert tortoise. 



30 acres of Category I habitat would be lost 
due to the extraction of sand and gravel 
from an existing material site. 



2-91 



R62E 



T9S 



NV-050-01R-16A 




T10S 



NV-050-01R-16B 



norzth 



PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 



MILES 



= MAP 2-30 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

EVERGREEN 

NV-050-01R- 16A,16B,16C 



2-92 



R62E 



T9S 




T10S 



NV-050-01R-16B 



NV-050-01R-16C | 

3 



MILES 



<2h 

norzth 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2-31 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

EVERGREEN 
NV-050-01R-16A,16B,16C 



2-93 



LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA (ISA) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,316 acre ISA as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-32). 

Mineral and Energy Resource Actions 

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area was place under mineral segregation on May 25, 1968. This 
closed the area to all forms of mineral leasing and mining laws. There are no claims within the ISA. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area ISA. The current 
use of 50 visits annually is projected to increase to 100 visits annually in the foreseeable future. 

Non-motorized recreation use is currently estimated at 200 visits annually. It is projected that this use 
would increase to an estimated 340 visits annually in the foreseeable future. This use consists primarily of 
hunting for big game and upland birds. 

Grazing Management Actions 

Livestock (cattle and sheep) are grazed in two allotments within the ISA. The soldier Meadows Allotment 
includes 12,156 acres of the ISA and accounts for approximately 400 AUMs of use. Grazing use has been 
excluded from the 2,410 acre exclosure located within the allotment. Grazing use in this allotment is not 
expected to change. The Paiute Meadows Allotment covers 160 acres of the ISA and accounts for 10 AUMs 
of grazing use. This use is expected to remain the same in the foreseeable future. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements, consisting of one reservoir, a developed spring and the 
exclosure fence, would be accomplished as needed, using motorized equipment. It is estimated that this 
would be required once every two to five years. No new projects are planned for either of the allotments. 

Wildlife Management Actions 

In 1973, what is now the ISA was designated as the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area. The purpose 
of the natural area designation was to provide management to protect the spawning grounds of the Lahontan 
cutthroat trout, a species of fish rated as threatened on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species 
List. A habitat management plan (HMP) was developed which included several protective developments. 
About twenty percent (2,410 acres) of the 

ISA around Mahogany Creek was fenced to exclude livestock from the stream's headwaters. Three 
cattleguards were used to replace the gates in the Exclosure. Gabions were placed in Pole Creek and 
Summer Camp Creek to repair head cutting and a road crossing. Two fish passes were built to help the 
trout reach their spawning grounds and water bars were constructed on roads. 

A five acre exclosure with a cattleguard was also constructed around the Horseshoe Bend meadow. 
Continued management would be oriented towards the maintenance and improvement of the fisheries and 
riparian habitat. Maintenance of these projects would be accomplished with hand tools and occasional 
motorized access. No new projects are projected. 

Realty Management Actions 

Private lands in the ISA total 1,256 acres and are situated in five different parcels. Access presently exists 
along bladed and maintained roads to four of the parcels. It is projected that the private land owner of the 
fifth parcel would exercise his right to access to his land. A 50 foot right-of-way would be issued for access 
to the private parcel. Approximately one-tenth of a mile of bladed access would be required, physically 
disturbing about one-half acre total. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,316 acres of public land in the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area ISA would be recommended 

2-94 



suitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-33). 

Mineral and Energy Resource Actions 

As a result of the 1968 mineral segregation, the ISA is closed to all forms of appropriation under the mineral 
leasing and mining laws. This would continue under the All Wilderness Alternative. 

Recreation Management Actions 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the ISA would be closed to cross country motorized recreational 
pursuits, including off-road vehicle sightseeing, vehicle camping and vehicular access for hunting and 
rockhounding. This would eliminate about five visits per year within the ISA. Vehicular use would continue 
on the 22 miles of cherrystemmed roads. This use is projected to increase from 50 visits annually to about 
90 visits annually. 

Non-motorized recreation would continue to increase from 200 visits annually to about 340 visits in the 
foreseeable future. This use is primarily from big game and upland bird hunters. 

Grazing Management Actions 

Livestock (cattle and sheep) are grazed in two allotments within the ISA. The soldier Meadows Allotment 
includes 12,156 acres of the ISA and accounts for approximately 400 AUMs of use. Grazing use has been 
excluded from the 2,410 acre exclosure located within the allotment. Grazing use in this allotment is not 
expected to change. The Paiute Meadows Allotment covers 160 acres of the ISA and accounts for 10 AUMs 
of grazing use. This use is expected to remain the same in the foreseeable future. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements, consisting of one reservoir, a developed spring and the 
exclosure fence, would be accomplished as needed, however, the use of motorized equipment would not 
be allowed off of existing cherrystemmed roads. It is estimated that this would be required once every two 
to five years. No new projects are planned for either of the allotments. 
Wildlife Management Actions 

Wildlife management would be oriented toward maintaining and improving the Lahontan Cutthroat trout 
habitat. Maintenance of developments would be done with hand tools. Vehicle use off existing 
cherrystemmed roads would not be allowed. No new wildlife developments are projected for the ISA. 

Realty Management Actions 

Private lands in the ISA total 1,256 acres and are situated in five different parcels. Access presently exists 
along bladed and maintained roads to four of the parcels. It is projected that the private land owner of the 
fifth parcel would exercise his right to access his land. A 20 foot right-of-way would be issued for access 
to the private parcel. Approximately one-tenth of a mile of access would be required. The minimum width 
necessary for development would be used, physically disturbing up to a total of two-tenths of an acre. 



2-95 



Table 2-14 
Comparative Summary of the Impacts by Alternative - Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA 



IMPACT TOPIC 



PROPOSED ACTION 
(NO WILDERNESS) 



ALL WILDERNESS 



Impacts on Wilderness 
Values 



The marginal wilderness values of the 
ISA would be further reduced by the 
increase in motorized use within the 
area. The special feature of the 
Lahontan Cutthroat trout would not be 
affected. Existing management would 
continue to protect the trout 
habitat. 



Designation of the ISA as wilderness 
would benefit the values of 
naturalness and solitude by the 
preclusion of off-road, cross country 
travel within the ISA. However, 
overall wilderness values in this 
largely roaded area would remain low. 
The special feature of the Lahontan 
Cutthroat trout would be preserved. 



Impacts on Motorized 
Recreational Use 



There would be no impact on motorized 
recreational use. 



The impacts to motorized recreational 
use would be negligible, eliminating 
less than 10 percent of the existing 
use. 



Impacts on Lahontan 
Cutthroat Trout Habitat 



There would be no impact on the 
Lahontan Cutthroat habitat. 



There would be no impact to the 
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout habitat from 
the designation of the ISA as 
wi Iderness. 




•7^ 



2-96 



^26E 



T42N 



norzth 




^^ 



MILES 



PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS) 

MAP 2-32 

WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVES 

LAHONTAN ISA 



2-97 



T42N 



<2> 

norzth 




MILES 



ALL WILDERNESS 
RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 



MAP 2-33 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

LAHONTAN ISA 



2- 98 



CHAPTER 3 

AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Marble Canyon WSA (Map 3-1) lies directly north of Mt. Moriah, within White Pine County, Nevada, 
approximately 300 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada. The WSA contains 19,150 acres 
of public land and is approximately 5 miles long and 8 miles wide. Topographically, the study area is a 
complex array of canyons, jumbled peaks, and drainages, dotted with juniper, pinyon pine and mountain 
mahogany. The highest point in the area, Thunder Mountain (9,331 feet), is located on a long ridge that 
crosses the study area's center. The ridge supports Douglas fir, white fir, bristlecone pine and limber pine. 
Access to the WSA is provided by three dirt boundary roads and 4 miles of cherrystemmed roads. There 
are no private or State lands within the WSA. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The majority of the Marble Canyon WSA is in an extremely natural condition. Within the WSA itself, evidence 
of man's activities is minimal. Much of the area is rugged and has impeded development attempts by man. 
In an area of over 19,000 acres, man-made intrusions include a 1-mile fence in the northeast corner of the 
area, an abandoned concrete trough in Christmas Canyon and a corral at the mouth of a drainage within 
Marble Canyon. 

Three short ways, each totaling less than 1 mile, and four cherrystemmed roads totalling 3 miles are located 
along the eastern boundary of the WSA. The presence of the roads and ways along the eastern bench 
detracts very little from the naturalness of the area. In addition, one short cherrystemmed road accesses 
a seep at the base of Thunder Mountain on the south-central plateau of the WSA. Naturalness is relatively 
unaffected by the presence of the road. 

In the past, minor quarrying for marble has taken place along Marble and Bars Canyons. Several small 
quarry scars and areas of blasted rubble exist in these rocky canyons. These disturbances are visible only 
in their immediate vicinity and essentially blend in with natural surroundings. In the southeast corner of the 
WSA a small mining audit was blasted. Aside from these intrusions, the area appears to be untrammeled 
by man and his works. 

Solitude 

The rugged topographic features of the Marble Canyon WSA insure outstanding opportunities for solitude. 
The northern and central region of the WSA is characterized by sparsely forested plateaus and divides cut 
by massive canyons. The impressive Bars Canyon, slices through the unit and its limestone and marble 
walls drop nearly 800 feet to the canyon's floor. Major side canyons equally as deep branch off and wander 
for additional miles. Each turn of these tortuous canyons isolate the visitor further and further. The cliffs 
are pocketed with shelter caves, expansive ledges, and huge natural amphitheaters. Other major canyons, 
including Marble and Coyote Canyons, have similar topographic isolation. 

Vegetative screening varies throughout the WSA. Pockets of white fir, Douglas fire, bristlecone pine, limber 
pine and mountain mahogany are found at higher elevations on most of the ridges within the WSA. 

Opportunities for a visitor to find a secluded spot are dependent on topographic and vegetative screening. 
The deeply incised terrain and dense vegetative screening of the northern, central and eastern regions of 
the WSA create the best locales for experiencing a sense of solitude and seclusion. The broad, low- sage 
covered plateau, nestled between the two main arms of Bar Canyon in the southwest corner of the study 

3- 1 



area, and the sparsely vegetated east bench are the only areas where opportunities for solitude would be 
diminished. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities in the Marble Canyon WSA are very good and quite varied, but are not considered 
outstanding. Most recreational use would be concentrated along the two main canyons (Bar and Marble 
Canyons), the forested ridgelines, and the sage plateau of the southwest portion. Access by dirt and gravel 
roads from the north, east and western boundaries would be limited to drier months of the year. 

Camping, hiking, cave exploration, climbing, and horseback opportunities are excellent within the major 
canyons. Sandy canyon bottoms provide travel routes to numerous scenic camping spots and shelter 
caves. For more hardy explorers, the tremendous range of cliff faces afford innumerable climbing 
opportunities. The canyon rims offer protected pockets of coniferous forests as cool, moist retreats from 
the canyon's heat. 

Wildlife related recreational activities such as bird watching, wildlife studies, photography, hunting and 
trapping are all good. The cliffs host populations of raptors, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and 
great horned owls, as well as numerous smaller birds such as swallows, chickadees and towhees. A variety 
of mammals, including ringtail cats, mountain lions, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, antelope, and kit foxes 
can be seen in the WSA. Photographic subject matter ranges from dramatic rock arches and gnarled 
bristlecone pines to stooping prairie falcons and ancient pictographs. The overall character of the study area 
is scenic, providing several types of landscapes suitable for a variety of recreational uses. 

Supplemental Values 

The Marble Canyon WSA contains several supplemental values. Ecologically, the area supports abundant 
raptor populations and was the historical range for the peregrine falcon, although none have been 
documented within the WSA. The raptor habitat is primarily located within the high rugged and inaccessible 
cliffs of the WSA. Bristlecone pines, in all forms and all ages, grow along the high central ridge. 

Unique geologic features enhance the scenic qualities of the review area. Deep canyons of folded and 
metamorphosed limestone drop precipitously to the canyon floors. 

Cultural resource values identified within the WSA include Late Prehistoric Fremont and Numic pictographs, 
rock shelters and open campsites. The pictographs within the WSA represent the most northern occurrence 
of prehistoric rock art within the Snake Range of eastern Nevada. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

The Marble Canyon WSA is the northern terminus of the massive Snake Range. Thrusted Paleozoic marine 
sediments are flanked by Tertiary volcanic outcrops in the northeastern part of the WSA and alluvial materials 
to the east, north and west. The predominant rock type in the area is limestone, locally metamorphosed into 
marble. 

The entire Marble Canyon WSA is classified as having a low favorability for metallic minerals (Map 3-2). 
There are no known metallic mineral deposits in the WSA. The northeast portion of the WSA has been rated 
as having a moderate to high potential for marble. This includes approximately 1,915 acres with high 
potential for marble and about 5,745 acres with moderate potential. Currently 26 mining claims are located 
within the WSA (Map 3-3). Eighteen of the claims are placer claims for marble, located in the north-central 
portion of the WSA. The marble is considered to be low grade, suitable for crushing or use as decorative 
stone. Minor quarrying has taken place in the past but there is no recorded production of marble within the 
WSA. (GEM, 1983). 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

No known oil and gas, geothermal, uranium or thorium deposits occur within the WSA (GEM, 1983). There 
are no existing or pending oil, gas or geothermal leases in the WSA. 

3- 2 



RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation facilities within or adjacent to the WSA. Traditional forms of recreation 
such as sightseeing, camping, and hunting occur within the WSA. This use is estimated to be 25 visits 
annually. Access by dirt and gravel roads is limited to the drier months of the year. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Marble Canyon WSA lies within three grazing allotments, each has one permittee. Approximately 5 
percent of the Muncy Creek Allotment is located within the WSA, which is grazed year-round utilizing an 
estimated 12,384 AUMs for its entirety. Twenty-one percent of the Smith Creek Allotment occurs within the 
WSA and is grazed fall-spring with 3,989 AUMs of use for the entire allotment. The Devil's Gate Allotment 
is grazed winter-spring with 1,810 AUMs administered in the Nevada portion. 

Current grazing levels within these three allotments are not expected to change in the future. Existing range 
improvements within the Marble Canyon WSA include 1 mile of fence, a small corral and abandoned cement 
trough. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The Marble Canyon WSA provides approximately 16,000 acres of bighorn sheep winter habitat. The eastern 
bench of the unit is key pronghorn antelope winter range. As mentioned in the recreation section above, 
the area provides excellent habitat for raptors. Numerous game birds such as blue grouse, sage grouse and 
chukars are also present. In addition to antelope, mule deer and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, there is 
the potential for elk to migrate into the WSA from the south. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

There are no parcels of private land located adjacent to or within the boundaries of the WSA. The southern 
portion of the WSA is contiguous with the Moriah Unit of the Humboldt National Forest. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES 

There are no threatened or endangered species found within the WSA. There is a State listed sensitive 
species, Moriah penstemon (Penstemon moriahensis ) found near the WSA. This species may also occur 
within the WSA as well, though it has not been documented. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

Cultural resource values identified within the WSA include Late Prehistoric Fremont and Numic pictographs, 
rock shelters and open campsites. No formal cultural resource inventories have been conducted in the 
WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

No comprehensive water inventory has been conducted in the Marble Canyon WSA. Several seeps have 
been developed in the area and additional intermittent seeps can be found along canyon walls. 



3-3 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1, 2 and 3 (NV-050-201, 216 and 217) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

These three WSAs (Maps 3-4, 3-8 & 3-12) form a consolidated strip of land along the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) Desert National Wildlife Range. Because the three units comprise one larger, cohesive 
area, they are discussed jointly here. 

Fish and Wildlife No. 1 , 2 and 3 run in a long, narrow strip between the USFWS Desert National Wildlife 
Range and U.S. Hwy. 93, about 35 miles north of Las Vegas. As a total unit, the area is about 45 miles 
long and three miles wide at its widest point. Fish and Wildlife No. 1 contains 1 1 ,090 acres, No. 2 contains 
17,242 acres and No. 3 contains 22,002 acres, totalling 50,334 acres of public land. Most of the area 
consists of flat, gently sloping bajadas extending from the west to the eastern boundary at U.S. Hwy. 93. 
The only mountain range, the Las Vegas Range, occurs in the central portion of Fish and Wildlife No. 2. 
These are low mountains, elevations range from 2,000 to 4,560 feet, with typical Great Basin shrub type 
vegetation. This includes Yucca, cactus and Joshua trees. There are two shelter caves found in the area. 
Low lying intermittent buttes and hills, plus the mountain range provide the only diversity found in the area. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The areas are primarily natural with few man-made intrusions. There are 9 ways which extend into the area 
from the eastern and southern boundaries. The majority of these ways (12.9 miles) occur in the Fish and 
Wildlife No. 3 WSA. There are two wells which have been abandoned in the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA, 
and one in Fish and Wildlife No. 3. These are all substantially unnoticeable in the area as a whole. In Fish 
and Wildlife No. 1 , there are three existing material sites with rights-of-way and one material site within Fish 
and Wildlife No. 3, all issued to the Nevada State Department of Transportation for sand and gravel. To date 
no use of these sites has occurred within the WSAs, however, if use were to occur, naturalness would be 
disturbed in the area. 

Solitude 

The size of the WSAs are such that each provides opportunities for solitude. The three units together 
provide outstanding opportunities for solitude. Opportunities are somewhat limited due to the configuration 
of the units, and are primarily found in the central core area, away from Hwy. 93 and the ways found in the 
southern end. The topography and vegetation provide for minimal screening. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities in the unit are fair for such activities as horseback riding, hiking, camping, nature 
study and sightseeing. All of the areas provide easy access for these activities, however there are limited 
areas of interest or destination points within the unit. The Las Vegas Range in Fish and Wildlife No. 2 would 
most likely be the destination point. Other visits could be riders passing through the area to reach the 
Desert National Wildlife Range. Areas of interest to visitors for hiking and sightseeing would be the shelter 
caves found in Fish and Wildlife No. 2 and 3 and the bighorn sheep in the Hidden Valley area. Primitive 
recreational use for the combined study areas is estimated to be 60 visits annually. 

Supplemental Values 

Fish and Wildlife No. 2 and 3 supports a small heard of bighorn sheep in the Las Vegas Range and Hidden 
Valley area. Approximately 80 - 90 sheep inhabit these areas. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ) occurs within all three WSAs. In August 1989 the desert tortoise 
was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 

A sensitive species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered Species", has 
been identified within the WSAs. One variety of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus ) is included as 
Category 2 (Watch) listings on the Federal Register. 



3-4 



Cultural resources include several sites consisting of lithic scatters, a rock alignment, some points and 
flakes and midden. The most important of the sites is Flaherty Shelter Cave. This cave was excavated in 
1969 and 1972 by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas field classes and has been dated back to 10 B.C. 
None of these areas are currently listed on the National Register and there are no plans to list them in the 
near future. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

There are four mining claims which occur in the southern portion of the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA. (Maps 
3-5, 3-9 and 3-13). To date, no development has taken place on any of these. 

The entire unit has no known, or low favorability for the occurrence of precious metallic mineral (GEM, 1 983) 
(Maps 3-6, 3-10 and 3-14). The area does have moderate favorability for the occurrence of sand and gravel 
(GEM, 1983). However, the favorability of these materials closer to the Las Vegas market has not created 
sufficient demand to make these deposits of value for commercial exploitation. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The entire unit has low to moderate potential for oil and gas or geothermal resources (GEM, 1983). There 
are no active leases in any of the three WSAs. 

RECREATION VALUES 

All of this area has received off-road vehicle use in the past. Most use is concentrated in washes and along 
existing ways. The powerline road which skirts the far southern end of Fish and Wildlife No. 3 has been 
used in the past as part of the Mint 400 ORV race course. Most of this use occurs along the boundaries 
of the study areas, and will likely continue. The area is designated for "limited use" under the off-road vehicle 
management plan and designation as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). 
The designation limits the type and location of competitive high speed events. Total motorized recreational 
use in the study areas amounts to about 180 visits per year. There are no developed recreation sites within 
the area and none are planned to be completed. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The three WSAs within this unit have existing grazing use within three allotments. Fish and Wildlife No. 1 
and 2 contain the combined portions of the Arrow Canyon Allotment located in Fish and Wildlife NO. 1 and 
2, utilizes an estimated 60 AUMs. The Dry Lake allotment has a small portion in Fish and Wildlife No. 3 
(about seven percent). It utilizes an estimated 14 AUMs total for the allotment. Portions of Fish and Wildlife 
No. 2 and 3 are located within the Pittman Well Allotment, which has not been permitted in over five years. 
Each of these allotments has one permittee. There are no range improvements within the WSA. There are 
no AMPs for these allotments and no future improvements are planned. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

Fish and Wildlife No. 2 and 3 both contain bighorn sheep winter habitat. This is concentrated along the 
Elbow Range and in Hidden Valley. Resident herds number about 80 - 90 animals. Two water developments 
are proposed within the WSA to support the sheep population. The implementation of the of the water 
developments will be addressed in the Habitat Management Plan being developed for the area. 
The combined study area, excluding the mountain range, has been identified as Category I desert tortoise 
habitat (Maps 3-7, 3-11 and 3-15). In November 1988 a four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) 
rangewide habitat plan ("Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was 
adopted by the BLM. (See Appendix A). This Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions 
to be used by the Bureau to improve the status of the tortoise on public lands. In August 1989 the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service emergency listed the desert tortoise as an endangered species. Preliminary 
categorization of tortoise habitat in accordance with the rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered 
species listing has identified all of the Fish and Wildlife WSAs as Category I desert tortoise habitat. 

There are no existing wildlife habitat developments within the study areas. 



3-5 



LANDS AND REALTY 

The Western Regional Corridor Study completed for Nevada in 1986 has identified a good portion of the 
unit for a possible utility corridor. Fish and Wildlife No 1 and 3 have material sites with rights-of-way issued 
to the Nevada Department of Transportation. There are no private land holdings within the unit. 

The area does have moderate potential for sand and gravel deposits. Four rights- of-way for extraction of 
sand and gravel were issued to the Nevada Department of Transportation for road maintenance. These 
rights-of-way were issued prior to 1976 and may be utilized in perpetuity. However, the availability of these 
materials closer to the Las Vegas market has not created sufficient demand to make these deposits of value 
for commercial exploitation. 

The western boundaries of the WSAs are contiguous to the Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Game 
Range proposed wilderness Unit III- Sheep Range and Unit II- Vegas Range (Desert Wilderness Proposal 
Desert National Wildlife Range - October 1971). 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDILFE) 

A sensitive species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered Species", has 
been identified within the WSAs. One variety of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus ) is included as 
Category 2 (Watch) listing on the Federal Register. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

There are several cultural sites found within study areas. These are mostly lithic scatters, a rock alignment 
and points and flakes. The Flaherty Shelter Cave, which has been dated back to 10 B.C., is found in Fish 
and Wildlife No. 2. None of these sites have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. 

WATER SOURCES 

There are no perennial or intermittent springs or streams in the WSAs. 



3-6 



LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Lime Canyon WSA is located east of the Overton Arm portion of Lake Mead and northwest of Gold 
Butte in Clark County, Nevada. The total acres within the unit amount to 35,518; 34,680 acres of public 
land and 838 acres of private inholdings. 

The Old Gold Butte Road forms the northern and eastern boundaries of the unit, the southern boundary 
follows a road, drainage and contour lines. The unit lies along the western boundary of the National Park 
Service Lake Mead National Recreation Area. At its widest point the WSA is 7 miles, tapering to 2.5 miles 
at the northern end. It approaches 13 miles long. Access to the WSA is provided by well traveled roads and 
12.7 miles of ways, mostly located in the southwestern portion of the unit. 

Topographically, the unit consists of small, rugged drainages, gently rolling hills, two paralleling ridgelines, 
a narrow canyon and several wide, sandy washes. Lime Ridge offers outstanding scenic vistas of Lake 
Mead to the south and west and the Muddy Mountains beyond the National Recreation Area. Lime Canyon 
offers colorful rock strata and dynamic geologic formations. Historic faulting and erosion have exposed a 
variety of sediment deposits throughout the unit. Vegetation is typical of Mojave Desert type with some 
intermittent areas of Joshua trees. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The most pristine portion of the WSA occurs in the central portion along the ridges and in the canyons. 
In this part of the study area there are no man-made intrusions. 

Along the boundaries and lower portions of the WSA, there are several intrusions. Eight ways extend into 
the WSA for a total of 12.7 miles. The longest occurs across the bajada and wide washes in the southwest 
corner of the unit. A short fenceline crosses the eastern boundary at about the center of the unit, and 
another crosses at the eastern corner near Gold Butte. A short gap fence crosses the mouth of Lime 
Canyon. Two upland game bird water developments and an earthen reservoir are found in the southern and 
eastern fringes of the WSA. 

Solitude 

The Lime Canyon WSA provides a large diversity of topography which ranges from small, rugged drainages 
to gently rolling hills. Two paralleling ridge lines extend the length of the WSA to the narrow canyon and 
several wide washes on the edge of the unit. This provides excellent topographical screening. The central 
and northern portion (1 0,000 acres) provides the maximum topographic screening and secluded areas where 
outstanding opportunities for solitude occur. The most prominent secluded areas occur along Lime Ridge, 
which dissects the length of the WSA. Excellent opportunities also exist in Lime Canyon. 

Vegetation within the unit is typical of the Mojave Desert, including cactus, creosote, ephemeral grasses, 
scattered Joshua trees and yucca plants. The low growing vegetation provides nominal screening, except 
along the eastern boundary where intermittent stands of Joshua provide better screening. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

There are numerous opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreational activities, including day hikes, 
backpacking, nature study, hunting and photography. Outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation 
occur mostly in the central portion of the study area along the major ridgelines, canyons, drainages and 
rolling hills. The greatest variety of topography, wildlife and points of interest are located within this portion 
of the WSA. Hiking or backpacking into Lime Ridge would provide outstanding experiences by offering 
varying degrees of difficulty plus scenic and wildlife views. 

Photographically, the unit provides a variety of subject matter from wildlife to colorful geologic formations 
and scenic vistas of Lake Mead and the surrounding area. Hunting opportunities are also available for 

3-7 



upland game birds, particularly Gambel's quail. 

Supplemental Values 

Lime Ridge and the attendant Lime Canyon offer unique scenic and geologic features. The desert tortoise 
(Gopherus agassizii) occurs several miles to the northeast of the WSA and was emergency listed as an 
endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in August 1989. The gila monster (Heloderma 
suspectum ) and the golden bear poppy (Arctomecon California) , currently listed on the "Federal Register of 
Threatened and Endangered Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

There are five lode claims located within the WSA (Map 3-17). There currently are three undeveloped 
patented mining claims (838 acres) within the WSA, all for gypsum. 

The Lime Canyon WSA has moderate favorability for the occurrence of non-metallic minerals. There is low 
favorability for precious and base metals (GEM, 1983) (Map 3-18). Abundant deposits of paleozoic limestone 
and dolomite have low development potential. Similar deposits closer to markets make these deposits of 
lower value. There are small deposits of uranium reported within the WSA. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The potential for hydrocarbon occurrence is considered low within the WSA (GEM, 1983). No wells have 
been drilled in the area, and there are no existing leases within the WSA. However exploratory drilling 
activity is occurring outside the WSA to the east near Tramp Ridge. 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Motorized recreational use within the WSA occurs 
along the boundaries, washes and established trails. The majority of this use comes from hunters and 
rockhounders. This use accounts for 180 visits annually in the WSA. The area is designated for "limited use" 
under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan (MFP). 

Non-motorized types of recreation such as hiking, backpacking, hunting and sightseeing, occur within the 
WSA. Access is provided by well maintained roads and ways. About 60 visits annually are attributed to 
primitive recreation. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Lime Canyon WSA lies within the Gold Butte Allotment. About 20 percent of the allotment is contained 
within the WSA boundary. The portion of the allotment located within the WSA utilizes an estimated 218 
AUMs for cattle and an estimated 219 AUMS for burros. The allotment has one permittee. Range 
improvements associated with the allotment include three fencelines, one developed spring and a small 
earthen reservoir; all located in the southern and eastern edges of the WSA. 

A Range Allotment Evaluation was completed for the Gold Butte Allotment (encompassing the Lime Canyon 
WSA) in 1988. An Allotment Management Plan (AMP) for the area is scheduled for completion in 1990. 

The WSA also lies within the Gold Butte Herd Area for wild horses and burros. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The WSA provides excellent habitat for Gambel's quail. Two bird drinkers have been installed in the WSA 
in support of those game species. 

As bighorn sheep were historically present in this range, the species has been targeted for reintroduction 
by the Nevada Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 1983 Site Release Plan identified the Lime Canyon WSA 
as a potential release site for bighorn sheep. Three water developments are planned within the WSA to 
support the reintroduction of the sheep. A combined wildlife Habitat Management Plan (HMP) which will 

3-8 



include desert tortoise and bighorn sheep is planned for the Gold Butte area in 1988. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. While it is likely that 
desert tortoise occur in the area, preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in the WSA has not identified 
any Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat in the Lime Canyon WSA (Map 3-19). 

LANDS AND REALTY 

There are three undeveloped patented mining claims consisting of 838 acres within the WSA. These are 
located along the eastern edge of the lower ridge in the WSA. 

The Lime Canyon WSA is contiguous along its western boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA Final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management 
Plan released in July 1986 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the 
Environmental Protection and Natural Environment Subzones. A wilderness plan will be prepared for the 
NRA following completion of the General Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE) 

The golden bear poppy (Arctomecon California ), a Category 2 Watch species has been identified in an area 
along the WSA's eastern boundary road. A gila monster (Heloderma suspectum ) a Category 2 candidate, 
was sighted on Lime Ridge in 1980 (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Draft EIS comment). 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

No cultural resource surveys have been conducted in the WSA, and no known sites have been recorded. 

WATER SOURCES 

There are no perennial or intermittent streams in the WSA. 



3-9 



MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Million Hills WSA (Map 3-20) is located east of Overton Arm in the Gold Butte area. It contains 21,296 
acres of public land, approximately 45 miles east of metropolitan Las Vegas. The WSA meets the 
Arizona/Nevada state line to the east, the Bureau of Reclamation withdrawal forms the southern boundary 
and the National Park Service Lake Mead National Recreation Area forms the southeastern corner. Formed 
in an elongated shape, the WSA is wide at its center (six miles) by approximately 10 miles at its longest 
reaches. Access to the WSA is provided by well maintained roads and ways. 

Topography of the area's north half is primarily low ridges and gently rolling hills. Wide sand washes cut 
through the hills and plains. The southern portion of the WSA consists of a north-south tilted ridge made 
up of colorful folds. The ridge gives way to numerous steeply rugged perpendicular drainages and canyons. 
Vegetation consists of low desert shrub, yucca and small areas of pinyon pine and juniper on the higher 
elevations. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The unit is primarily natural. Those man-made features which do occur within the unit do not significantly 

impact the area's naturalness. 

Several ways pass through the WSA. A two mile way runs through Immigrant Canyon from the Garden 
Springs Road to the Devils Cove Road. A second way extends from the north side of Garden Springs Road 
along the wash's ridge line, approximately 1 .2 miles. A third way, about 1 /2 mile long comes into the WSA 
from the southwest, and a fourth extends from Devils Cove Road into New Spring Wash to a developed 
spring. The fifth way extends from the northern boundary. 

Two short fencelines are located with the WSA for a total of 1 .8 miles in the northeast corner and the 
southwest. There are two developed springs in the WSA located at New Spring in the southwest corner 
and Julies Spring northwest of Azure Ridge. 

Solitude 

The WSA offers at least 9,500 acres of outstanding opportunities for solitude. These opportunities are 
essentially offered by abundant rock outcrops along Azure Ridge and Million Hills, a broken chain of small 
low-lying hills separated from Azure Ridge by a draw. Combined vegetative cover of the mountain brush 
community and desert community species, the numerous drainages and canyons provide essential features 
to enhance solitude opportunities. The most preferable and accessible areas to a visitor in the WSA would 
be Immigrant Canyon, Azure Ridge, Million Hills, Garden Spring Canyon and New Spring Wash. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities for Million Hills are good to excellent. There are fantastic scenic vistas, secluded 
spots and unusual geologic features that would entice visitors for hiking, photography, nature study or 
backpacking. These opportunities are available in two distinct desert atmosphere. The northern portion 
provides low desert environment with marginal desert landscape. The southern portion offers excellent 
opportunities in a mid-elevation mountain brush environment. The units accessibility is an added plus for 
hiking to such destinations as Immigrant Canyon, Garden Spring Canyon, New Spring Wash and Azure 
Ridge. These destinations also provide viewing of wildlife and scenic vistas for photography and nature 
study. Several backpacking routes are also available. Primitive recreational use is estimated to be 50 visits 
annually. 

Supplemental Values 

This area offers excellent raptor nesting sites, few of these are available within the Las Vegas District. A 
large population of burros are found in the WSA. They concentrate here because of the gentle sloping 
landscape and the proximity to Lake Mead for water. 

3- -1© 



The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) occurs within the WSA and was emergency listed as an endangered 
species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in August 1989. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

There are four !ode claims found in the southern half of the WSA, above and to the west of Azure Ridge 
(Map 3-21). The Azure Mine, located roughly in the middle of the unit, was mined for zinc and copper at 
the turn of the century. This is the only reported occurrence of mineralized location in the WSA. There is 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of base metals around Azure Mine, but not in economic quantities 
(GEM, 1983) (Map 3-22). 

The WSA also contains abundant limestone and dolomite of unknown quality. There appears to be abundant 
gravel resources near the paleozoic outcrops in the south half of the WSA. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

There are five oil and gas leases still in effect within the WSA, no wells have been drilled in the WSA to 
date. Despite favorable reservoir rocks for host hydrocarbons, structure and stratigraphy is described as 
unfavorable for accumulation. However, exploratory wells have been drilled in areas just west of the WSA. 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Motorized recreational use within the WSA occurs 
along the boundaries, washes and established trails. The majority of this use comes from hunters, 
rockhounders, and occasional recreational prospectors. This use accounts for 150 visits annually in the 
WSA. The area is designated for "limited use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation 
as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). 

Primitive recreation use such as hiking, backpacking, hunting and sightseeing, occur within the WSA. 
Access is provided by well maintained roads and ways. About 50 visits annually are attributed to primitive 
recreation. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

There are two grazing allotments which fall partially into the Million Hills WSA. About seven percent of the 
Gold Butte allotment is contained within the WSA. This portion of the allotment located within the WSA 
utilizes an estimated 191 AUMs for cattle and 188 AUMs for wild burros. The Azure Ridge allotment is part 
of a larger area managed by the Arizona BLM. This area is managed under an allotment management plan 
(AMP). There are two existing fencelines and two developed springs within the WSA. An eight mile fence 
line is proposed for the eastern portion of the WSA. 

A Range Allotment Evaluation was completed for the Gold Butte Allotment (encompassing the Million Hills 
WSA) in 1988. An Allotment Management Plan (AMP) for the area is scheduled for completion in 1990. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

As bighorn sheep were historically present in this range, the species has been targeted for reintroduction 
by the Nevada Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 1983 Site Release Plan identified the Million Hills WSA 
as a potential release site for bighorn sheep. Two water developments are planned within the WSA to 
support the reintroduction of the sheep. A combined wildlife Habitat Management Plan (HMP) which will 
include desert tortoise and bighorn sheep is planned for the Gold Butte area. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. In November 1988 a 
four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan ("Desert Tortoise Habitat 
Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. (See Appendix A). This 
Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the Bureau to improve the 
status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in accordance with the 
rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified both Category I and 

3-11 



uncategorized desert tortoise habitat in the Million Hills WSA (Map 3-23). The northern-most portion of the 
WSA (about 8,960 acres) is Category I habitat. 

Other wildlife include raptors, wild horses and burros, and upland game birds. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

No private lands exist within the WSA. No realty actions are proposed or are planned to occur within the 

study area. 

The Million Hills WSA is contiguous along its eastern boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA Final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management 
Plan released in July 1986 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the 
Resource Utilization Subzone (mineral leasing permitted in this subzone). A wilderness plan will be prepared 
for the NRA following completion of the General Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service in August 1989 (See Wildlife Resources). 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

There are no cultural sites reported in the WSA. No surveys have been conducted in the WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

There are two perennial springs and one intermittent spring found in the WSA. Julies Spring (perennial) 
and New Spring (intermittent) have been developed. All of these springs are found in the southern portion 
of the WSA. 



3-12 



GARRETT BUTTES WSA (NV-050-235) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Garrett Buttes WSA (Map 3-24) encompasses 1 1 ,835 acres of public land. Located east of the Overton 
Arm section of Lake Mead and southwest of Gold Butte, the unit is contiguous to the National Park Service 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the west, the Catclaw Road on the northern boundary and Scanlon 
Ferry Road on the eastern boundary. The southern boundary is the Lakeside Mine Road and the Bureau 
of Reclamation land withdrawal. The WSA is in a block configuration, roughly five miles wide by five miles 
long. 

Topography consists of gently sloping outwash plain on the west, two rounded buttes to the east, and a 
small ridge running the length of the southern boundary. Elevations range from 1,195 to 3,920 feet. 
Vegetation is sparse, low desert shrub typical of the southern Mojave type, providing marginal vegetative 
screening. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The WSA provides its most pristine features in the central portion of the unit. It is here that very few man- 
made intrusions exist. There is a total of 4.9 miles of ways which pass through the WSA. The longest (2.4 
miles) extends from the northern boundary into the center of the unit. Other short intrusions follow washes, 
and one comes into the unit from the eastern boundary. Other man-made features include five developed 
seeps and springs and seven upland game bird drinkers scattered throughout the WSA. 

Solitude 

The WSA provides outstanding opportunities for solitude in the short, narrow twisting canyon at the eastern 
end of Spring Wash, the best area for natural screening and seclusion. The unit is of sufficient size that 
outstanding opportunities for solitude exist within its center. At this point, the unit's boundaries would be 
at equal distance. 

The sparse, low desert shrub on the outwash plain to the west provides only marginal screening. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreation opportunities in the Garrett Buttes WSA are limited. Opportunities for hiking, hunting, horseback 
riding and backpacking are available, however, there are few special features or attractive landscapes to 
draw a visitor. Extreme climatic conditions and lack of screening throughout the unit limits use of the area 
to fall through spring. 

Hunting for upland game birds (Gambel's quail) is best along the boundary roads, as is the horseback 
riding. The most interesting day hike the unit has to offer is through Spring Wash Canyon. This canyon 
provides colorful and interesting rock formations. 

Supplemental Values 

There is a herd of wild burros which migrate through the WSA. They normally frequent the western portion 
where they are close to water. The presence of these animals adds a wild, scenic feature to the WSA. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizip . emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service in August 1989, has been identified within the WSA. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

There have been no claims filed within the WSA (Map 3-25). The Garrett Buttes WSA has low favorability 
for occurrence of mineral resources over about half of the area, the remainder has moderate potential (Map 
3-26). Although the east half has Precambrian metamorphics and intrusive in bedrock which has been 
identified as host rock for precious metals in other parts of the Gold Butte area, there is no known 
occurrence of metallics or non-metallics in the WSA (GEM, 1983). There would appear to be abundant 

3-13 



gravel reserves in the WSA, however no development of these resources has occurred. It is unlikely they 
will be developed as the area is far from a marketable source. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM, 1983). 
Presently, no oil and gas leases exist within the WSA. 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Motorized recreational use within the WSA occurs 
along the boundaries, washes and established trails. The majority of this use comes from hunters and cross- 
country trail riders. This use accounts for 180 visits annually in the WSA. The area is designated for "limited 
use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the Clark County 
Management Framework Plan (MFP). 

Non-motorized types of recreational activities occurring within the WSA include upland game bird hunting, 
hiking and horseback riding. This type of use accounts for an estimated 50 visits annually. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Garrett Buttes WSA contains about seven percent of the Gold Butte Allotment. The portion of the Gold 
Butte Allotment located within the WSA utilizes an estimated 191 AUMs for cattle and an estimated 188AUMs 
for burros. Range improvements within the WSA include five developed springs or seeps. These provide 
water for livestock and wildlife. Only one spring (Gann Spring) in the southeast corner has been developed 
with a pipeline and trough. 

A Range Allotment Evaluation was completed for the Gold Butte Allotment (encompassing the Garrett Butte 
WSA) in 1988. An Allotment Management Plan (AMP) for the area is scheduled for completion in 1990. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The WSA contains excellent habitat for Gambel's quail, an upland game bird. Seven bird guzzlers to support 
the quail populations have been installed in the WSA. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. While it is likely that 
desert tortoise occur in the area, preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in the WSA has not identified 
any Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat in the Garrett Buttes WSA (Map 3-27). Since Category I habitat 
exists north of this WSA, it is possible that future population studies will require the categorization of habitat 
in this WSA also. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

No private lands exist within the WSA. No realty actions are planned or proposed to occur within the study 
area. 

The Garrett Butte WSA is contiguous along its western boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA Final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management 
Plan released in July 1986 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the 
Environmental Protection and Natural Environment Subzones. A wilderness plan will be prepared for the 
NRA following completion of the General Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES) 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish 

and Wildlife Service in August 1989 (See Wildlife Resources). 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

No cultural surveys have been conducted in the WSA and no sites have been recorded. 

3-14 



WATER SOURCES 

There are four intermittent springs and one perennial spring in the WSA which have been developed for 
use by livestock and wildlife. There are no other waters in the WSA. 



3-15 



QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Quail Springs WSA (map 3-28) is located along the southern boundary of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) Desert National Wildlife Range. It contains 12,145 acres of public lands. The WSA is 
bounded on the west by an access road for the USFWS Headquarters, and on the southwest by a powerline 
right-of-way. The southern boundary is determined by private land ownership patterns for the city of Las 
Vegas. 

The topography of the unit is primarily flat with gentle sloping bajadas on the southern end. A major wash 
runs through the southern part of the WSA. There are no major geologic formations in the unit, and 
vegetation consists primarily of low desert shrubs and grasses. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The WSA is primarily in a natural condition. The north-central portion of the WSA is the most natural, north 
of the wash. There are no existing range improvements or wildlife developments within the WSA. 

There are 9.3 miles of ways which pass through the WSA, the longest is 3.8 miles and crosses the north 
half of the unit. Two other ways, each 2 miles long, cross the northern and southern ends of the unit. Other 
ways totaling 1.5 miles extend into the WSA from the western boundary. The large sand wash in the 
southeastern portion of the WSA provides an ideal area for ORV use. This area is criss-crossed with tracks 
from motorcycles and dune buggies. 

Solitude 

The WSA's vegetation and topography provide only minimal screening, however, the study area's size 
provides limited outstanding opportunities for solitude. These opportunities would occur in the central 
portion of the WSA, away from the boundaries and ways which cross the unit in the south and north. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities for the Quail Springs WSA are best for horseback riding. The gently sloping 
terrain provides for easy walking. The lack of diversity in the landscape and lack of points of interest or 
destination does not offer a high quality experience. It is more likely that the unit is most often used as 
access to the Desert National Wildlife Range, which offers better recreational opportunities. Primitive 
recreational use is estimated to be 30 visits annually. 

Supplemental Values 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ) was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service in August 1989. Two paleontological sites have been recorded near the WSA boundary, 
however, these are not considered potentially eligible for the National Register. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire Quail Springs WSA is composed of Quaternary alluvium, and is not considered favorable for the 
location of metallic minerals. There are no known locatable minerals within the study area, although there 
are a total of 13 placer claims located in the southwestern portion of the WSA (Map 3-29 and 3-30). There 
has been no development of these claims in the past and none is expected in the near future. 

The entire WSA has been classified as moderate for the occurrence of sand and gravel resources (GEM, 
1983). Currently, there are no permits for salable minerals within the WSA and none are targeted for the 
area. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The WSA has been classified as low for the occurrence of oil and gas and moderate for geothermal 
resources (GEM, 1983). There are no oil and gas leases within the WSA. 

3-16 



RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Motorized recreational use within the WSA occurs 
along the boundaries, washes and established trails. The majority of this use comes from dirt bikers and 
cross-country trail riders. This use accounts for 150 visits annually in the WSA. The area is designated for 
"limited use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the Clark County 
Management Framework Plan (MFP). 

Non-motorized types of recreation, such as hiking and horseback riding do occur within the WSA, usually 
by private landowners who live close to the area. This use accounts for an estimated 30 visits annually. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

There is one allotment (Indian Springs) of which about 40 percent lies within the WSA. This allotment has 
been withdrawn from ephemeral grazing during the past five years and new applications for ephemeral use 
is not projected. There are no existing range improvements within the WSA are none are planned. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. In November 1988 a 
four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan ("Desert Tortoise Habitat 
Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. (See Appendix A). This 
Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the Bureau to improve the 
status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in accordance with the 
rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified the entire WSA (about 12,145 
acres) as Category II desert tortoise habitat (Map 3-31). 

There are no existing or proposed wildlife habitat developments for this WSA. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

No private lands exist within the WSA. An existing powerline right-of-way is the study area's southern 
boundary. The Western Regional Corridor Study completed for Nevada in 1986 has identified a good 
portion of the study area for a possible utility corridor. The Department of Energy has identified lands within 
the WSA as a possible route for a proposed transportation corridor for a railroad line. 

The northern boundary of the WSA is contiguous to the Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Game 
Range proposed wilderness Unit I - Gas Peak (Desert Wilderness Proposal Desert National Wildlife Range - 
October 1971). 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service in August 1989 (See Wildlife Resources). 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

Two paleontological sites have been recorded on the southern boundary. Neither one are considered 
potentially eligible for the National Register. 

WATER SOURCES 

No water sources have been identified within the study area. 



3-17 



EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Eldorado WSA (Map 3-32) lies in the southeastern portion of Clark County, Nevada, approximately one 
hour's drive from Las Vegas, Nevada. The study area contains 12,290 acres of public land, surrounding 120 
acres of private land, in a roughly rectangular configuration 5 miles long and 4 miles wide. The WSA is 
bordered by the El Dorado Act Lands to the north, Nevada State Highway 60 to the west, the Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area on the east and the mining town of Nelson to the south. The WSA encloses 
rugged mountainous terrain of volcanic and metamorphic rocks along the western edge of the Eldorado 
Mountains. A prominent north-south ridgeline, cut by numerous wide washes and canyons, dominates the 
landscape. Desert shrubs and cacti cover the foothills, while small pockets of mountain brush species (scrub 
oak) and stands of cholla occur in the canyons. Elevations range from 2,000 feet on the eastern side of the 
WSA to 3,800 feet at the top of Nelson Peak. Access to the WSA is provided by dirt roads and by Nevada 
State Route 60, a paved route that forms a portion of the western boundary. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The majority of the El Dorado WSA is in extremely natural condition. The rugged topography of the area 
has limited development attempts by man. In an area of over 12,000 acres, man-made intrusions include 
vehicle tracks along the wide sandy washes of the western WSA, one developed spring and three short 
ways, totaling less than 1 mile each. These features are primarily visible within their immediate area, leaving 
approximately 95 percent of the study area unaffected by man and his works. 

Several man-made features create external imprints on the WSA. State Route 60 is adjacent to much of 
the western edge of the study area and forms a portion of the southern boundary. The communities of 
Boulder City, 13 miles to the north, and Nelson, located at the southwestern corner of the WSA, are visible 
from high points along the western boundary. Several powerlines run across El Dorado Valley, 
approximately 3.5 miles northwest of the WSA. Mining activities continue along the southern boundary of 
the study area. These external imprints are visible from higher elevations within the WSA. 

Solitude 

The mountainous core of the El Dorado WSA insures outstanding opportunities for solitude. The central 
and eastern portions of the WSA consist of rugged peaks and ridges, cut by wide washes, canyons and 
narrow drainages. Oak Creek and Lonesome Canyons, two long canyons filled with scrub oak, contain 
numerous secluded spots. 

The northwest and western sections of the WSA are characterized by a gently sloping bajada, crisscrossed 
by numerous drainages and washes. Topographic features offer limited screening and few secluded areas. 

Vegetative screening varies throughout the WSA. Major canyons and drainages support mountain brush 
communities of scrub oak and acacia. Low-growing desert shrubs and cacti dot the sloping bajada of the 
northwestern portions of the WSA. 

Opportunities for a visitor to find a secluded spot are dependent on topographic and vegetative screening. 
Approximately 50 percent of the WSA consists of narrow drainages and wide canyons with pockets of dense 
vegetation that create outstanding opportunities for solitude. The gentle bajada of the northwestern region, 
with its sparse vegetative cover, permits an open view of external features and activities; limited opportunities 
for solitude would be available within this area. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities in the El Dorado WSA are very good and quite varied. Most primitive recreational 
use would be concentrated in the mountainous region of the study area where major canyons and drainages 
provide interesting features, seclusion and varying degrees of challenge. A powerline road and State Route 
60 permit year-round access to the north, south and west boundaries of the WSA. 

3-18 



Backpacking, horseback riding and camping opportunities are considered outstanding in 50 percent of the 
WSA. Several routes north through the unit would permit scenic hikes of more than one day's duration. 
Excellent camping sites are available in Oak Creek Canyon, with topographic and vegetative screening 
contributing to the wilderness experience. 

Wildlife related recreational activities such as nature studies, photography and hunting are available in the 
WSA. Desert wildlife, including desert tortoise, bighorn sheep and wild burros, can be seen in the study 
area. Colorful landscapes, diverse geologic formations and scenic vistas provide excellent subject matter 
for photography. Populations of bighorn sheep and Gambel's quail make the WSA attractive to hunters. 

Supplemental Values 

The El Dorado WSA contains several supplemental values. Unique geologic features enhance the scenic 
qualities of the study area. Colorful tuff formations, basalt flows and a natural bridge, Gregory's Arch, 
contribute to the aesthetic experience within the WSA. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) was emergency listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service in August 1989 (See Wildlife Resources). Ecologically, the area supports populations 
of Gambel's quail, bighorn sheep and wild burros. Two sensitive species (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor 
and Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus) have been identified in the study area. These two penstemons are 
currently listed in the "Federal Threatened and Endangered Plant Register" as a Category 2 (Watch) listing. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

The El Dorado WSA forms the western edge of the El Dorado Range. Precambrian gneiss, schist and 
granite have been locally intruded by Lower Tertiary granitic masses. Predominant rock types come from 
Mid-Tertiary volcanics, ranging in composition from rhyolite to basalt. 

The WSA lies within the El Dorado Mining District. Activity in the area to the south of the WSA was actively 
mined in the late 1800's up to 1942. Significant amounts of gold, sliver, and copper were produced within 
the mining district. Currently 24 mining claims are located within the WSA (Map 3-33). No development has 
taken place to date on these claims. 

The entire El Dorado WSA is classified as having low favorability for metallic and non-metallic minerals and 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium (GEM, 1083) (Map 3-34). There are no known deposits 
of these resources in the study area. The entire WSA has a low favorability for the occurrence of sand and 
gravel (GEM, 1983). No material sites occur within the study area at present. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

No known oil and gas or geothermal deposits occur within the WSA. Presently no oil and gas leases exist 
within the WSA. (See Mineral Favorability Map). 

RECREATION VALUES 

Traditional forms of primitive types of recreation such as hiking, sightseeing, camping and hunting occur 
within the WSA. This use is estimated to be 70 visits annually. 

The wide washes and sloping bajada are conducive to motorized vehicle related activities including off- 
road driving, dirt biking, racing and access for hunting and rockhounding. Current motorized recreational 
use within the WSA is estimated to be 550 visits annually. The area is designated for "limited use" under the 
off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the Clark County Management Framework 
Plan (MFP). Restrictions and limits apply to competitive events under this "limited use" designation. 

There are currently no developed recreation facilities within or adjacent to the WSA. The Clark County 
Management Framework Plan (MFP) has proposed the installation of interpretative signs and access trail 
within the WSA as part of an interpretative program for Gregory's Arch. 



3-19 



LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The El Dorado WSA lies within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately three percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA has an estimated use of 55 AUMs for cattle, 25 AUMs for 
burros and 9 AUMs for bighorn sheep and desert tortoise. 

The WSA lies within the El Dorado Herd Use Area for wild horses and burros. No Herd Area Management 
Plan (HAMP) is scheduled for the El Dorado Herd Area. 

Existing range improvements within the WSA consist of one developed spring. No new range projects are 
proposed for development within the WSA. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The El Dorado WSA provides approximately 9,500 acres of bighorn sheep habitat. The study area lies 
within the El Dorado Bighorn Sheep Habitat Area and the El Dorado Herd Use Area for wild burros. Herd 
sizes are estimated to be 154 bighorn sheep and 139 burros for the area. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. In November 1988 a 
four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan ("Desert Tortoise Habitat 
Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. (See Appendix A). This 
Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the Bureau to improve the 
status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in accordance with the 
rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified about 2,700 acres in the 
extreme western portion of the WSA as Category III desert tortoise habitat (Map 3-35). 

The vegetation of the washes and canyons provide cover for populations of Gambel's quail. Small desert 
mammals, song birds and bobcats are also present in the WSA. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

The WSA surrounds a 120 acre undeveloped patent mining claim which lies along the study area's eastern 
boundary. Present access requires cross country travel across a small portion of the WSA. Exercising of 
the rights of access to the patented parcel could include motorized types of transportation. 

The Western Utility group and other utility companies have proposed the designation of an above and 
below ground utility corridor (in "Western Regional Corridor Study", 1986) that would cross the southern 
portion of the WSA. 

The northern boundary of the WSA is contiguous to the El Dorado Valley Act (P.L -85-339 1958) lands. 
These lands were set aside by special federal legislation to allow the State of Nevada an option for purchase. 
The Eldorado Act Lands will most likely be intensively developed. 

The El Dorado WSA is contiguous along its eastern boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA Final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management 
Plan released in July 1986 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the 
Environmental Protection Subzone and the Resource Utilization Subzone (mineral leasing permitted). A 
wilderness plan will be prepared for the NRA following completion of the General Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES) 

Two sensitive species (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor and Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus ) have been 
identified in the study area. These two penstemons are currently listed in the "Federal Threatened and 
Endangered Plant Register" as a Category 2 (Watch) listing. The two varieties of penstemon have been 
identified within the extreme southwest corner of the WSA. 



3-20 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The entire El Dorado WSA is considered to be of moderate sensitivity for cultural resources. One formal 
cultural resource inventory has been conducted within the study area; no sites were recorded as a result 
of this activity. 

WATER SOURCES 

Two water sources have been identified within the El Dorado WSA. These include an intermittent seep and 
one intermittent developed spring, Bridge Spring, located in the southwestern portion of the WSA. 




y?~ 



3-21 



IRETEBA PEAKS WSA (NV-050-438) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA (Map 3-36) is located south of Nelson in Clark County, Nevada, approximately one 
hour's drive from Las Vegas, Nevada. The study area contains 14,994 acres of public land in a rectangular 
configuration 7.5 miles long by 3.5 miles wide. The WSA encloses a major north-south knife edge ridge of 
igneous and metamorphic formations. Deeply incised rocky draws angle out from the ridgeline to the east. 
To the south, the landscape flattens into a bajada that drains into Lake Mead. Elevations within the study 
area range from 2000 feet on the eastern boundary to the 5,060 foot Ireteba Peak. Vegetation is sparsely 
scattered throughout the area and consists of low-growing desert shrubs at the lower elevations and a 
handful of pinyon/juniper at the top of the range. Access to the WSA is provided by several dirt roads and 
a powerline road located to the north of the study area. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The majority of the Ireteba Peaks WSA is in extremely natural condition. In an area of nearly 15,000 acres, 
the only man-made intrusion within the study area is a short way less than one-half mile in length. This 
feature is primarily visible from within its immediate vicinity. 

Several major unnatural influences are located outside of the WSA. Two powerlines, the Rockefeller and 
St. Louis Mines, U.S. Highway 95 and numerous dirt roads are visible from the north-south trending ridgeline 
and higher points within the study area. Topographic screening lessens the effects of these external 
imprints; 75 percent of the WSA remains unaffected by these unnatural features. 

Solitude 

The size (14,994 acres) and rectangular configuration of the Ireteba Peaks WSA are adequate to provide 
outstanding opportunities for solitude within a limited portion of the WSA. The mountainous terrain of the 
central core of the study area (approximately 85 percent) creates secluded areas. Rugged peaks and 
serrated ridges, cut by wide washes and steep drainages, aid in screening visitors from man-made features 
and activities occurring along the boundaries of the WSA. 

The extreme northern, southern and western regions of the WSA afford less than outstanding opportunities 
for solitude. Landforms include wide, shallow drainages and a gently sloping bajada that offers limited 
topographic screening from the sights and sounds of activities outside the WSA. 

Vegetative screening within the WSA is generally limited. Low-growing desert shrubs, i.e. creosote, 
blackbrush, cacti and yucca, are sparsely distributed over the landscape. Small stands of pinyon/juniper 
that are found at higher elevations are not sufficient to visually screen outside intrusions. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

Recreational opportunities in the Ireteba Peaks WSA are varied but are not considered to be outstanding. 
Most recreational use would be concentrated along the major ridgelines and atop the higher peaks. Access 
by dirt roads from the north and southwestern boundaries would be available year-round. 

Hiking and backpacking opportunities are limited within the study area. The most appealing destinations 
for day hikes would be the peaks and ridgelines that afford scenic views of Lake Mead. Backpackers could 
follow a route across the WSA into the Lake Mead Recreation Area, bordering the east side of the WSA. 
These activities would best be enjoyed through the months of September to May. 

Wildlife-related recreational activities such as birdwatching, nature studies, photography and hunting are 
possible within the study area. The WSA provides habitat for bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bobcats, small 
desert mammals, Gambel's quail and desert tortoise. Herds of wild burros can also be observed within the 
area. Photographic subject matter would include the above mentioned wildlife as well as scenic views of 
Lake Mead from atop the higher peaks and ridgelines within the WSA. 

3-22 



Supplemental Values 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA contains several supplemental scientific and educational values. The desert tortoise 
(Gopherus agassizii ) emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989 occurs in the WSA. Two 
sensitive species (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor and Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus ) have been identified 
in the study area. These two penstemons are currently listed in the "Federal Threatened and Endangered 
Plant Register" as a Category 2 (Watch) listing. Herds of bighorn sheep and wild burros can also be 
observed within the WSA. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

The Ireteba Peaks Range is composed of Precambrian gneiss, schist and granite which have been locally 
intruded by Lower Tertiary granitic masses. Predominant rock types come from Mid-Tertiary volcanics and 
range in composition from rhyolite to basalt. The range has been uplifted and complexly faulted into several 
blocks. Nineteen mining claims are located within the WSA; to date, no development of these claims has 
taken place (Map 3-37). 

Approximately six percent (900 acres) of the WSA is considered to have moderate favorability for the 
occurrence of metallic minerals; the remaining portion is considered to have low favorability (Map 3-38). 
The entire study area is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of non-metallic minerals and 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium (GEM, 1983). 

The entire WSA has a low favorability for the occurrence of sand and gravel deposits (GEM, 1983). 
Currently, no material sites exist within the WSA and no development is projected for the area. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of oil and gas and 
geothermal resources (GEM, 1983). There are no existing or pending oil, gas or geothermal leases in the 
WSA. 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within or adjacent to the WSA. Motorized recreational use within 
the WSA occurs primarily along the northern boundary and within the southern bajada . The majority of 
this use comes from hunters and cross-country riders. This use accounts for 65 visits annually in the WSA. 
The area is designated for "limited use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation as 
specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). Restrictions and limits apply to 
competitive events under this "limited use" designation. 

Non-motorized types of recreation such as hiking, and hunting occur within the WSA. Most of this use is 
projected to come from bighorn sheep hunting. Access is provided by well maintained roads and ways. 
About 50 visits annually are attributed to non-motorized types of recreation. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA lies entirely within one grazing allotment, the Ireteba Peaks Allotment (ephemeral). 
Approximately four percent of the Ireteba Peaks Allotment is located within the WSA. The portion of the 
Ireteba Peaks Allotment located within the WSA has an estimated use of 74 AUMs for cattle, 33 AUMs for 
burros and 13 AUMs for bighorn sheep and desert tortoise. 

The WSA lies within the El Dorado Herd Use Area for wild horses and burros. Current populations are 
estimated to be 139 burros within the area. No Herd Area Management Plan (HAMP) is scheduled for the 
El Dorado Herd Area. 

No range improvements exist within the WSA. Two springs are proposed for development within the area's 
northeast portion. 



3-23 



WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA lies within the El Dorado Bighorn Sheep Habitat Area and provides approximately 
13,500 acres of bighorn sheep habitat. Current populations are estimated to be 19 sheep within the area. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. In November 1988 a 
four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan ("Desert Tortoise Habitat 
Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. (See Appendix A). This 
Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the Bureau to improve the 
status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in accordance with the 
rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified about 1,800 acres in the 
extreme southern portion of the WSA as Category II desert tortoise habitat (Map 3-39). 

The study area also supports Gambel's quail, mountain lion and bobcats. There are no existing or proposed 
wildlife habitat developments within the WSA. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

There are no parcels of private land located within the Ireteba Peaks WSA. Southern California Edison 
Company has identified the need for an additional 500 kv transmission line crossing the northern portion 
of the study area. 

The Ireteba Peaks WSA is contiguous along its eastern boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management Plan 
released in July 1985 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the 
Resource Utilization Subzone (mineral leasing permitted) and the Environmental Protection Subzone. A 
wilderness plan will be prepared for the NRA following completion of the General Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES) 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989 occurs 
in the WSA. Two sensitive species (Penstemon bicolor ssp. bicolor and Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus ) 
have been identified in the study area. These two penstemons are currently listed in the "Federal Threatened 
and Endangered Plant Register" as a Category 2 (Watch) listing. The two varieties of penstemon have been 
identified within the western portion of the WSA along the ridgeline. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The entire Ireteba Peaks WSA is considered to be of moderate sensitivity for cultural resources. To date, 
no formal cultural inventories have been conducted within the WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

Five water sources have been identified within the Ireteba Peaks WSA. Two intermittent and two perennial 
springs and one seep are found within the study area. No developed waters exist within the WSA. 



3-24 



JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Jumbo Springs WSA (Map 3-40) encompasses 3,466 acres of public land. Located west of the Iceberg 
Canyon area and south of Gold Butte, Nevada the study area is contiguous to the National Park Service 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area on its southern and eastern borders. None of the area's boundaries 
run along roads. The WSA is in a rectangular configuration, roughly four miles long and 1 .5 miles wide. 

The WSA consists of the upper canyons of three major washes which drain from the edge of a plateau east 
toward Lake Mead. The canyons are rugged. Elevations range from 2,700 feet along the southeastern 
boundary to the 4,700-foot ridge on the northern end. Vegetation consists of low mountain brush species. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The WSA is in a pristine condition with no man-made features. Outside imprints influencing the area are 
located outside of the northern boundary. 

Solitude 

There is no vegetative screening in the study area. The canyons do offer good topographic screening. 
They are subdivided into numerous tributary drainages with intervening ridges and rocky outcrops that 
provide limited locales for seclusion. Less than outstanding opportunities for solitude exist within the WSA. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

The WSA would provide hikers and backpackers with limited opportunities for hiking and backpacking. 
Visitors would be able to gain scenic views of Lake Mead and Iceberg Canyon. At best visitors would pass 
through the study area on their way to the Lake Mead Recreation Area. 

Supplemental Values 

The desert tortoise may occur within the WSA (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

No mining claims or known prospects or mines exist within the WSA. The WSA is composed of precambrian 
metamorphic rocks with outcroppings of the precambrian Gold Butte Granite. Gold can be found in quartz 
veins which intrude this bedrock. Therefore, prospecting for precious metals is projected to occur within 
the study area. The activity will be surface/outcrop sampling. 

No significant deposits of sand and gravel exist within the WSA because of the mountainous terrain. No 
exploration or development of salable minerals has occurred, is occurring or is projected to occur within the 
WSA. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The WSA is considered to have low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources (GEM, 1983) (Map 
3-41). No oil and gas leases exist within the WSA, nor has there been any previous exploration activity. 
Exploration for or development of potential energy resources is not projected to occur. 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Approximately 8 visits of motorized recreational 
use are estimated to occur annually. Non-motorized recreational use, such as hiking or camping, within 
the WSA is considered to be extremely low. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Jumbo Springs WSA contains approximately two percent of the Gold Butte Allotment. The portion of 
the Gold Butte Allotment within the WSA utilizes an estimated 55 AUMs for cattle and 55 AUMs for burros. 
No range improvements exist within the WSA. 

3-25 



A Range Allotment Evaluation was completed for the Gold Butte Allotment (encompassing the Jumbo 
Springs WSA) in 1988. An Allotment Management Plan (AMP) for the area is scheduled for completion in 
1990. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

The Jumbo Springs WSA offers potential yearlong bighorn sheep habitat in this historical use area. Release 
of bighorn sheep within the WSA may require the implementation of one water development. A combined 
wildlife Habitat Management Plan (HMP) which will include key species of desert tortoise and bighorn sheep 
is planned for the Gold Butte area in 1988. 

The desert tortoise was emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989. While it is likely that 
desert tortoise occur in the area, preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat in the WSA has not identified 
any Category I, II or III desert tortoise habitat in the Jumbo Springs WSA (Map 3-42). Since Category I 
habitat exists north of this WSA, it is possible that future population studies will require the categorization 
of habitat in this WSA also. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

No private lands exist within the WSA. No realty actions are proposed. 

The Jumbo Springs WSA is contiguous along its eastern boundary to the National Park Service Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area (NRA). The NRA final Environmental Impact Statement - General Management Plan 
released in July 1986 identified these lands as meeting the criteria of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The 
Management Zoning areas identified in the General Management Plan places these lands within the Natural 
Environment Subzone. A wilderness plan will be prepared for the NRA following completion of the General 
Management Plan. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES 

No listed threatened or endangered species have been identified within the WSA. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

No perennial or intermittent seeps or springs have been identified within the WSA. 



3-26 



NELLIS ABC WSA (NV-050-04R-1 5) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Nellis ABC WSA (Map 3-43) is made-up of three small sub-areas separated by roads. Sub-area A 
contains 1,971 acres, B contains 2,713 and C contains 1,034 acres, for a combined total of 5,718 acres. 
The study area is located at the northern end of Vegas Valley The southern and western borders are bound 
by private land; the east by a powerline road; the north by the Desert National Wildlife Range; and the 
northeast by the Sheep Mountain Gunnery Range. 

The WSA consists of a flat bajada sloping gently south from the Sheep Range. It is highly eroded, creating 
a deeply rutted but uniform terrain. Vegetation consists of creosote and other desert shrubs, with some 
yucca appearing along the northern boundary. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The WSA is in a natural condition, with the man-made features being separated from the study area. Vehicle 
tracks from off-road vehicle use are the primary intrusive features. 

Solitude 

The WSA on its own merit provides less than outstanding opportunities for solitude. The study area's low- 
growing vegetation and open landscape provides minimal screening for visitors and few secluded locales. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

The study area's small size, irregular configuration and lack of variety and interesting features does not 
permit a visitor an outstanding opportunity for an unconfined primitive recreational experience. The area 
would provide limited opportunities for horseback riding and sightseeing. 

Supplemental Values 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aaassizii) . emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989 by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been identified within the WSA. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

Presently, there are no mining claims, prospects or mines located within the study area (Map 3-44). The 
WSA is composed entirely of alluvium deposits. Geologic conditions do not warrant accumulation of 
metallic, non-metallic or placer deposits. The entire WSA has been classified as moderate for the 
occurrence of sand and gravel resources (GEM, 1983) (Map 3-45). Currently, there are no permits for 
salable minerals within the WSA. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The WSA has been classified as low for the occurrence of oil and gas and moderate for geothermal 
resources (GEM, 1983). One oil and gas lease currently exists within the WSA (Map 3-44). 

RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Motorized recreational use occurring within the 
area comes from dirt bikers and cross-country trail riders. This use accounts for 120 visits annually in the 
WSA. The area is designated for "limited use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation 
as specified in the Clark County Management Framework Plan (MFP). The ORV designation restricts high 
speed competitive events within the WSA. 

Non-motorized types of recreation, such as horseback riding does occur within the WSA, usually by private 
landowners who live close to the area. This use accounts for an estimated 20 visits annually. 



3-27 



LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

There is one allotment (Las Vegas Valley) of which about 10 percent lies within the WSA. This allotment 
has been withdrawn from ephemeral grazing during the past five years and new applications for ephemeral 
use is not projected. There are no existing range improvements within the WSA are none are planned. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

In August 1989 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency listed the desert tortoise as an endangered 
species. In November 1988 a four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan 
("Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. 
(See Appendix A). This Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the 
Bureau to improve the status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat 
in accordance with the rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified all of 
the Nellis ABC WSA as Category II desert tortoise habitat (Map 3-46). 

There are no existing or proposed wildlife habitat developments for this WSA. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

No private lands exist within the WSA. The Western Regional Corridor Study completed for Nevada in 1986 
has identified a good portion of the study area for a possible utility corridor. The Department of Energy has 
identified lands within the WSA as a possible route for a proposed transportation corridor for a rail line. 

The northern boundary of the WSA is contiguous to the Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Game 
Range proposed wilderness Unit I - Gas Peak (Desert Wilderness Proposal Desert National Wildlife Range - 
October 1971). 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES) 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aaassizii) . emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989, has 

been identified within the WSA. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The WSA does not possess cultural resources that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing 
on the National Register of Historic Places. No cultural sites have been recorded within the WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

No water sources have been identified within the study area. 



3-28 



EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The Evergreen ABC (Map 3-47) WSA is made-up of three small sub-areas separated by private lands. Sub- 
area A encompasses 2,194 acres, B encompasses 289 and C comprises 21 1 acres, for a combined total of 
2,694 acres. The study area is located south of Alamo, Nevada, sandwiched between the Desert National 
Wildlife Range and U.S. Highway 93 The western boundary is contiguous with the northeast end of the 
Desert National Wildlife Range boundary and the eastern boundary is made-up of a powerline right-of-way 
and dirt road. 

The WSA consists primarily of a broad, easterly sloping bajada with numerous small draws and washes 
carving their way to the east from the study area's western border. Vegetation consists of low-growing 
desert shrubs, mainly creosote, saltbush, yucca, and scattered Joshua trees. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The WSA is primarily in a natural condition, containing two small stock reservoirs within the northern portion 
of the WSA. The most prominent visible man-made features are located outside the WSA (highway, 
powerline, roads), along the area's eastern boundary. 

Solitude 

The WSA's extremely small size, low-growing vegetation and flat upward sloping topography provides the 
area with minimal screening and virtually no secluded spots available for experiencing solitude. The WSA 
on its own merit does not possess outstanding opportunities for solitude. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

The area offers limited opportunities for horseback riding, hiking and nature study as the WSA's extremely 
small size limits movement. Few interesting locales and interesting features are located within the WSA that 
would draw visitors to the area to participate in primitive recreational experiences. At best the area would 
be used for access into the Desert National Wildlife Range. 

Supplemental Values 

Cultural resources such as shelter caves, lithic scatter and temporary campsites are found within the White 
River Drainage which, passes through portions of the WSA. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ), emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989 by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been identified within the WSA. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

To date no mines, prospects or mining claims have been identified within the WSA (3-48). No known 
metallic or nonmetallic mineral deposits exist within the WSA as the geologic conditions are not favorable 
for the accumulation of these minerals. The exploration for any potential locatable minerals in not projected 
for the WSA. 

The entire area has low favorability for the occurrence of salable minerals (GEM, 1983). Sand and gravel 
deposits may occur in the alluvial areas, but no commercial value is anticipated. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

The WSA is considered to have moderate favorability for the occurrence of oil and gas because of its 
position with respect to the Overthrust Belt and sedimentary basin concept (GEM, 1983) (Map 3-49). To 
date, no wells have been drilled nor has any geophysical exploration been conducted within the WSA. 
Exploration for or development of potential energy resources is not projected to occur within the WSA. 



3-29 



RECREATION VALUES 

There are no developed recreation sites within the WSA. Approximately 35 visits of motorized recreational 
use, such as dirt biking and off-road driving, are estimated to occur annually within the WSA. The area is 
designated for "limited use" under the off-road vehicle management plan and designation as specified in the 
Caliente Management Framework Plan (MFP). 

Non-motorized recreation, such as horseback riding does occasionally occur within the WSA. This use 
account for an estimated 10 visits annually. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Evergreen WSA contains about four percent of the Lower Lake East Allotment and less than one percent 
of the Delamar Allotment. The portion of the Lower Lake East Allotment located within the WSA utilizes an 
estimated 26 AUMs for cattle and the Delamar Allotment an estimated 30 AUMs for cattle. Range 
improvements within the WSA include two small earthen reservoirs. These provide water for livestock and 
wildlife. No other range improvements exist within the WSA and none are proposed. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

In August 1989 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency listed the desert tortoise as an endangered 
species. In November 1988 a four State (Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona) rangewide habitat plan 
("Desert Tortoise Habitat Management On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan") was adopted by the BLM. 
(See Appendix A). This Rangewide Plan provides objectives and management actions to be used by the 
Bureau to improve the status of the tortoise on public lands. Preliminary categorization of tortoise habitat 
in accordance with the rangewide plan and the subsequent endangered species listing has identified all of 
the Evergreen ABC WSA as Category I desert tortoise habitat (Map 3-50). 

There are no existing wildlife habitat developments within the study area. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

The Western Regional Corridor Study completed for Nevada in 1986 has identified a good portion of the 
unit for a possible utility corridor. The WSA contains one material site with right-of-way issued to the Nevada 
Department of Transportation. The right-of-way was issued prior to 1976 and may be utilized for perpetuity. 
Private land holdings separate the three parcels of the WSA. 

The western boundary of the WSA is contiguous to the Fish and Wildlife Service Desert National Game 
Range proposed wilderness Unit III - Sheep Range (Desert Wilderness Proposal Desert National Wildlife 
Range - October 1971). 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (SEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES) 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) , emergency listed as an endangered species in August 1989 by 

the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been identified within the WSA. 

CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The WSA does not possess cultural resources that are currently listed or proposed for nomination for listing 
on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural resources, lithic scatters, shelter caves and campsites, 
have been recorded within the White River Drainage, which passes through the WSA. 

WATER SOURCES 

No intermittent or perennial seeps and springs have been recorded within the WSA. 



3-30 



LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT ISA 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS 

The ISA is composed of the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area (Map 3-51). Located in the western 
portion of Humboldt County, approximately 78 miles northwest of Winnemucca, it was established as a 
natural area in 1973 and encompasses 12,316 acres of land. The major objective of the Natural Area is to 
ensure the preservation of the Lahontan cutthroat trout, a threatened species of fish, in its natural habitat 
and to maximize available spawning areas. Natural features of the area consist of scattered stands of aspen 
and mountain mahogany, mountains and creeks. Elevation ranges from a low of 6,120 feet on the west 
boundary to a high of 8,799 feet located on an unnamed mountain near the northeast corner. Access to 
the ISA is possible from the north, east or west, although the western access road is usually extremely rough 
and is seldom used. There are 22 miles of cherrystemmed road and six separate parcels of private lands 
totaling 1,256 acres (10 percent of the ISA) within the ISA. There are no State lands within the ISA. 

WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area ISA has been subdivided into 12 individual units by the 22 miles 
of cherrystemmed roads which run through the area. Each of these subunits contains less than 5,000 acres. 
Because of its natural area significance, it has been evaluated for wilderness. 

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area is an outstandingly beautiful area with its running water, large 
stands of quaking aspen, willow and mahogany tree, lush meadows, colorful rock formations and good 
populations of wildlife. While some small portions of the ISA are in a natural condition, there are numerous 
intrusions, including 22 miles of roads, fences, corrals and several cabins which would be impossible to 
rehabilitate without altering the objectives of the natural area and obtaining the private parcels of land 
located within the ISA. 

Solitude 

Because of the limited size, easy access from three directions, extensive road system throughout the area 
and the private inholdings the solitude for the area has been classified as marginal. Although there are many 
areas where the visitor experiences solitude because of the topography and vegetation, the numerous 
examples of man's presence in the area severely detracts for the experience. 

Primitive and Unconfined Recreation 

There are good recreation opportunities within the ISA. Activities such as backpacking, hunting, nature 
study, horseback riding, photography, cross country skiing and winter camping are all feasible. Although 
the creeks contain Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, it is not legal to fish the creeks. However, due to the small 
sizes of the creeks, the fish are usually quite viewable. The presence of cool, flowing appeals to a number 
of people who desire a change from the hot, arid surroundings. 

Supplemental Values 

The outstanding special feature of the ISA is the presence of the Lahontan cutthroat trout. The fact that 
these fish use the stream in the area as spawning grounds was the reason for the creation of the Natural 
Area. To protect the quality of the water in the steams, 2,410 acres or 20 percent of the ISA, were fenced 
to exclude livestock from their headwaters. The trout is listed as "threatened" on the "Federal Register of 
Threatened and Endangered Species". 

An additional aspect of the livestock exclosure is its effect on riparian vegetation. Among the reasons for 
the exclosure was the protection of the vegetation and prevention of trampling of streambanks. Stabilization 
of the watershed was a major objective. Since the exclosure was established, there has been increased 
plant vigor. Reestablishment of the original, native plant community and improvement of wildlife habitat have 
occurred. 

Several additional values are present. There is a large amount of water concentrated in a small area of 

3-31 



three creeks: Pole, Mahogany and Summer Camp. Large stands of aspen trees and scattered groups of 
mountain mahogany can be found throughout the area. A wide assortment of wildlife is present within the 
ISA, such as mule deer, antelope, chukar, sage grouse, coyote, bobcat and quail. 

MINERAL RESOURCES 

Mineral interest in the area is low. Old assessment scars can be found throughout the northern section of 
the Natural Area. A mineral examination conducted in 1966 resulted in all 12,316 acres of the ISA being 
closed to mineral entry. Analysis of samples from the area by the Bureau of Mines in Salt Lake City and the 
Chemical Research Engineer in Sacramento revealed that the area contains no value for precious metals 
or other minerals. 

ENERGY RESOURCES 

No known oil and gas, geothermal, uranium or thorium deposits occur within the ISA. There are no existing 
or pending oil, gas or geothermal leases. 

RECREATION VALUES 

Motorized recreation use accounts for about 50 visits annually to the area. Most of this use occurs on 
existing roads to permit access for camping, hiking and hunting. About 5 times a year a camper will drive 
off-road to get closer to the streams, leaving ruts and tracks through soft damp areas. 

There are no developed recreation facilities within or adjacent to the ISA. 

Non-motorized recreation use is primarily composed of hunting use for big game (deer and antelope) and 
upland game birds. There are currently about 200 visits per year in the ISA associated with non-motorized 
recreation. Big game hunters are under a permit system which is strictly regulated by the Nevada Division 
of Wildlife. Other non-motorized activities include photography, camping, rockhounding, hiking and nature 
study. 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING 

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA lies within two grazing allotments - the Soldier Meadows Allotment located 
in the Sonoma-Gerlach Resource Area and the Paiute Meadows Allotment located in the Paradise-Denio 
Resource Area. Both allotments have one permittee. With the exception of 160 acres located in the Paiute 
Meadows Allotment the remaining 12,156 acres are located in the Soldier Meadows Allotment. Within the 
12,156 acres is the 2,410 acre fenced exclosure. The Paiute Meadows Allotment contains less than 10 AUMs 
and no range improvements. The Soldier Meadows Allotment contains between 400 and 450 AUMs and nine 
range associated projects including four small reservoirs, several fences and two cattleguards. No projects 
or vegetative manipulations are planned. An Allotment Management Plan is anticipated for the Soldier 
Meadows Allotment at a future date. 

WILDLIFE RESOURCES 

Wild game is plentiful in the form of mule deer, pronghorn antelope and chukar partridge, with the quality 
of hunting considered to be very good. Most hunting is regulated under permit, license and quota system 
administered by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. 

There are seven wildlife developments associated with the HMP completed for the Natural Area, including 
fences, gabions, fish passes, water bars and an aspen rehabilitation project. 

LANDS AND REALTY 

Private lands in the ISA total 1 ,256 acres. They are associated with the Soldier Meadows Ranch. Presently, 
there are no planned land actions in the area. No utility corridors are present or planned. 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES 

There are no Threatened and Endangered species present other than the Lahontan cutthroat trout which 
were discussed in the Supplemental Values section. 

3-32 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 

An inventory was conducted that covered most of the ISA. Also, another inventory was carried out that 
dealt with an area adjacent to the study area. Both surveys disclosed prehistoric and historic sites along 
Summer Camp and Mahogany Creeks, as well as elsewhere in the study area. There are a series of 
prehistoric hunting blinds adjacent to the study area, but none are present within it. There are no National 
Register sites or sites that have been declared as being eligible for the National Register present. No 
Cultural Resource Management Plans have been developed for the area and none are proposed. 

WATER SOURCES 

Water is fairly abundant in the ISA. Besides the two permanent streams, Mahogany Creek and Summer 
Camp Creek, and the intermittent stream, Pole Creek, there are 28 permanent springs, 10 intermittent 
springs and 5 intermittent seeps. The total output for the water sources is approximately 160 gallons per 
minute. 







3-33 



R70E 



T*$N 




T17N 



IERRY— StE 



4^r 

n 

2 

MILES 



-O 



chej 

WAY 
FENCE 
CORRAL 
DIGGINGS 



/ i 
EM ROAD 



^ RESERVOIR-PROPOSED 
w TROUGH 



MAP 3- 1 

EXISTING SITUATION 
MARBLE CANYON 



NV-040-086 



3-34 



R6£r 



R70E 



T1^N 




T17N 



o 



MILES 



HIGH (Marble) 
MODERATE (Marble) 
LOW 



MAP 3- 2 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

MARBLE CANYON 
NV-040-086 



3-35 



R69E 



R70E 



\ ^tev. /"■.,..„ 




T17N 



o 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 

POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



NONE 



MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

MARBLE CANYON 
NV-040-086 



3-36 



/ 



T11S 






^ 



T12S 



^ 
o 



,«e?- 



MILES 



sr 



T13S 



x 



z_i 



11 3 V 



2S 




R63E 



WAY 

A WELLS 

^vsXS MATERIAL SITE 



MAP 3- 4 

EXISTING SITUATION 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 

NV-050-201 



3-37 



T11S 



~ttr"^-- 1 



O 



y 



T12S 



n 



&i~- 



MILES 



E 



S" 



i 



0/4 



XI 



T13S 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 

POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



NONE 



05 | 



^t- 



| .11s? I 



->- 



1 — 7* 



X13 1 /2S 



36 



/ 






R68E 



3-38 



MAP 3- 5 

MINING CLAIMS AND 

MINERAL LEASES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 

NV-050-201 



T11S 






T12S 



^ 

Q 



--z:> 



MILES 



"EC 



Ill '■ _^ 



T13S 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



"$- 



'.:■': 







- 






&g~ R63E 



11 3 V 



2S 



3-3© 



MAP 3- 6 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 

NV-050-201 



T11S 



T12S 




T2 

2 

MILES 



CATEGORY 



T13S 





I13 1 / 2 s 



MAP 3- 7 

DESERT 
TORTOISE HABITAT 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #1 
NV-050-201 



3-40 



R62E R63 



T14S 



T15S 




WAY 



13 



MAP 3- 8 

EXISTING SITUATION 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 

NV-050-216 



MILES 



3-41 



R62E R63 



T14S 



T15S 




NOME 



Pre/Post FLPMA 
MINING CLAIMS 

POST FLPMA 
OIL/GAS LEASES 



2 

MILES 



MAP 3- 9 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 
NV-050-216 



3-42 



R62E R63E 1 

/i 



T14S 



T15S 




o 

2 

MILES 



MODERATE 
LOW 



MAP 3-10 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 

NV-050-216 



3-43 



R62E R63 



T14S 



T15S 




CATEGORY I 



2 

MILES 



MAP 3-11 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #2 

NV-050-216 



3-44 



■nmnnH 




< 



MAP 3-12 

EXISTING SITUATION 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



WAY 

v DIGGINGS 
A WELLS 
3 MATERIAL SITE 



s- 



R> 



■: 'is x 


\/ \,» # * 




\^*X 




c\'\) * 

Vfck 







.^ N 



^ 



< 



ssr 



MILES 






3-45 






<v 



# 






/ 



/\ 



MAP 3-13 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



\ 



v 



V 



v 



/ 



*K 



V 

\ 
\ 



* 






/ 






■< 



\* 



NONE Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 
POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



NONE 



QUARTZITE MINE 



V 



v« 



w 









.s' 






R> 



'. 



N* 



MILES 



';'-"' 4 (:3 




< 



MAP 3-14 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



S- 



.«* 



&* 



•$> 



>s 



R> 



>, 






a 



v 



tf 



MILES 



3-47 




MAP 3-15 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

FISH AND WILDLIFE #3 
NV-050-217 



CATEGORY 



V 



\;*>. 




^ 



R> 



< 



& 



MILES 



3-48 



T17S 



T18S 




===== WAY 

PRIVATE LAND 

* w FENCE 

^ RESERVOIR 
<• DEVELOPED SPRING 
• GUZZLER 



T19S 



MAP 3-16 

LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

EXISTING SITUATION 



MILES 



3-49 



T17S 



T18S 




POST FLPMA 
OIL/GAS LEASES 



re/Post FLPMA MINING 
CLAIMS 



T19S 



MAP 3-17 

LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

3 4 E 



MILES 



3-50 



T17S 



T18S 













; £ 




I^N 


% 
















. - ■■■■■■■■ 






\ 

< 








^— ' 


■*--» 


:. 


•teL 




T19S 



MODERATE 
LOW 




MAP 3-18 

LIME CANYON 

NV-050-231 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 



MILES 



3-51 



T17S 



T18S 



T19S 




UNCATEGORIZED 
[ [ CATEGORY I 



MAP 3-19 

LIME CANYON 
NV-050-231 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 



MILES 



3-52 



R70E 



R71E 



T18S 



T19S 



WAY 




MILES 



MAP 3-20 



MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 

EXISTING SITUATION 



3-53 



R70E 



R71E 



T18S 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 




POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEAS|eS 31 



MAP 3-21 



MILES 



-3 MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 
MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 



3-54 



R70E 



R71E 



T18S 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 




T19S 



MILES 



MAP 3-22 



MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 



3-55 



R70E 



R71E 



I ) UNCATEGORIZED 
CATEGORY I 




MILES 



MAP 3-23 

_l MILLION HILLS 

NV-050-233 
DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 



3-56 



R69E 



T19S c^ * 



T20S 




n 



MILES 



-=.= WAY 
~~ PIPELINE 
« — x PROPOSED FENCE 
«• DEVELOPED SPRING 
w TROUGH 
O GUZZLER 

MAP 3-24 

EXISTING SITUATION 

GARRETT BUTTES 

NV-050-235 



3-57 



R69E 



T19S c^ 



T20S 







Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS NONE 
r — ~~l POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



MILES 



MINING CLAII 



MAP 3-25 

IS AND MINERAL LEASES 

GARRETT BUTTES 

NV-050-235 



3-58 



R69E 



T19S c 



T20S 







( — | MODERATE 
LOW 



MILES 



MAP 3-26 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

GARRETT BUTTES 
NV-050-235 



3-59 



I9E 



T19S c^ 



T20S 




Spring 



12 



UNCATEGORIZED 



MILES 



MAP 3-27 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

GARRETT BUTTES 

NV-050-235 



8-@€> 







= = == = WAY 



MILES 



MAP 3-28 

EXISTING SITUATION 

QUAIL SPRINGS 
NV-050-411 



3-61 



R60E 



T18S 




^ 
o 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 

POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



NONE 



MILES 



MAP 3-29 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

QUAIL SPRINGS 
NV-050-411 



3-62 




o 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



MAP 3-30 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

QUAIL SPRINGS 
NV-050-411 



2 il3 



T18S 







CZZI 



CATEGORY II 



MILES 



MAP 3-31 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

QUAIL SPRINGS 

NV-050-411 



3-64 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 







MILES 



PRIVATE LAND 



==== = WAY 
9? DIGGINGS 



tJ* 



JPRING 



MAP 3-32 

EXISTING SITUATION 

EL DORADO 

NV-050-423 



3-65 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 




n 



MILES 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 



POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



.-: r ...:. 



3 - MAP 3-33 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

EL DORADO 
NV-050-423 



3-66 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 




re 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



MILES 



MAP 3-34 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

EL DORADO 

NV-050-423 



3-67 



R64E 



T25S 



T26S 







I I UNCATEGORIZED 

I I CATEGORY III 



MILES 



MAP 3-35 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

EL DORADO 
NV-050-423 



3-68 



R64E 



T26& 



T27S 







MILES 



= ==== WAY 



MAP 3-36 

EXISTING SITUATION 

IRETEBA PEAKS 
NV-050-438 



3-69 



R64E 



T26S 




T27S 



T2 



Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 

POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



NONE 



MAP 3-37 



MILES 



MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

IRETEBA PEAKS 
NV-050-438 



3-70 



R64E 



T26S 



T27S 






n 

1 2 3 


MODERATE 








LOW 


1 


MAP 3-38 




MILES 


MINERAL FAVORABILITY 
IRETEBA PEAKS 



NV-050-438 



3-71 



R64E 



1268 



T27S 







MILES 



I 1 UNCATEGORIZED 

| | CATEGORY II 



MAP 3-39 



DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

IRETEBA PEAKS 

NV-050-438 



3-72 



T20S 




nonth 



MILES 



3-73 



MAP 3-40 

EXISTING SITUATION 

JUMBO SPRINGS 
NV-050-236 



R70E 



T20S 




nouth 



> :::.---::*V-^;-.:;.-*^- ■ ^O^N 



MILES 






MODERATE 
LOW 



MAP 3-41 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

JUMBO SPRINGS 
NV-050-236 



HM««™HMi^BaMBMMMBMBgMMMMMMM0»B!2~v_V.'. n: ... : -;:.. : :;;^__:,l_^_:._- ii; -^±_il_l__;^i_d..._ 



R70E 



T20S 




noRth 



MILES 



UNCATEGORIZED 



MAP 3-42 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 
JUMBO SPRINGS 

NV-050-236 

3-75 



NV-050-04R-15A 



R61E 



NV-050-04R-15B 




T19S 



nonth 



MILES 



WA' ; ' 



MAP 3-43 

EXISTING SITUATION 

NELLIS 
NV-050-04R- 1 5 A, 1 5B, 1 5C 



3=7(1 



NV-050-04R-15A 



R61E 



NV-050-04R-15B fclw n n ™ 

NV-050-04R-15C 




noutln 



MILES 



NONE Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 
POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



MAP 3-44 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

NELLIS 
NV-050-04R- 1 5 A, 1 5B, 1 5C 



3-77 



NV-050-04R-15A 




T19S 



MILES 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



MAP 3-45 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 

NELLIS 
NV-050-04R- 1 5 A, 1 5B, 1 5C 



3-78 



NV-050-04R-15A 



R61E 



NV-050-04R-15B .... ncn ^ An * ,R I r0Rcl 

NV-050-04R-15C 



T19S 



~Jr 




vyn.nure ,RA[NCH BOUNDARY 
NELLIS 
K^GTV BASE 




MILES 



tzzi 



CATEGORY II 



3-79 



MAP 3-46 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

NELLIS 
NV-050-04R-15A,15B,15C 



R62E 



T9S 



NV-050-01R-16A 




T10S 



NV-050-01R-16B 



NV-050-01R-16C 



MILES 



noRfb 



&■ RESERVOIR 
MATERIAL SITE 



MAP 3-47 

EXISTING SITUATION 
EVERGREEN 

NV-050-01R-16A,16B,16C 



3-80 



R62E 



T9S 



T10S 



NV-050-Q1R-16A 




NV-050-01R-16B 



NV-050-01R-16C 



MILES 



nonth 



none Pre/Post FLPMA MINING CLAIMS 
none I POST FLPMA OIL/GAS LEASES 



MAP 3-48 

MINING CLAIMS AND MINERAL LEASES 

EVERGREEN 
N V-050-0 1 R- 1 6 A, 1 6B, 1 6C 

3-81 



R62E 



T9S 



-01R-16A 




T10S 



NV-050-01R-16B 



NV-050-01R-18C 



MILES 



norzth 



NONE 



MODERATE 
LOW 



MAP 3-49 

MINERAL FAVORABILITY 
EVERGREEN 

NV-050-01R-16A,16B,16C 



3-82 



R62E 



T9S 




T10S 



NV-050-01R-16B 



MILES 



nonth 



CATEGORY I 



MAP 3-50 

DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

EVERGREEN 
NV-050-01R-16A.16B.16C 



3-83 



T42N 



I Tm Trough I , 
,f ~Spcios--N 4" 



<2h 

noRtb 




MILES 



p" 1 PRIVATE LAND 

—* *- FENCE 

^ RESERVOIR 

DEVELOPED SPRING 



MAP 3-51 

EXISTING SITUATION 
LAHONTAN ISA 



3-84 



CHAPTER 4 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 

INTRODUCTION 

This chapter describes the environmental consequences of implementing the different wilderness alternatives. 
The impacts are summarized in Tables 2-1 through 2-14 in Chapter 2. Only the required elements and the 
environmental issues (impact topics) that were identified during scoping are discussed and analyzed in this 
chapter. The Scoping section in Chapter 1 contains a list of the impact topics. 

A discussion of the adverse impacts which cannot be avoided, the relationship between short-term uses 
of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and the irreversible 
and irretrievable commitment of resources can be found following the analysis of the alternatives in this 
chapter. 

MARBLE CANYON WSA (NV-040-086) 

PROPOSED ACTION (PARTIAL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends 8,300 acres suitable for wilderness designation and 10,850 acres 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-1). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness (Suitable Portion) 

A slight, positive, effect on naturalness would occur with the closure of the recommended suitable portion 
to off-road vehicles. This action would halt the formation of new tracks associated with repeated motorized 
vehicle use. Also benefiting naturalness would be the withdrawal of the area to additional mineral exploration 
and possible development. 

Naturalness (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Surface disturbance associated with mineral exploration activities, including access and drill pads, would 
physically disturb and impair the natural character of 6 acres north of Bars Canyon in the nonsuitable portion 
of the WSA. This disturbance would include construction of drill pads and up to 2 miles of bladed access 
resulting in localized areas of scarified topography. The visual impacts of these disturbances would be 
limited to about 6 acres by the broken topography and the screening provided by the juniper woodland. 

Two stock reservoirs (.25 acres each) would be constructed along the eastern bench in the nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. Disturbance of soil and vegetation would result from the use of a bulldozer in 
constructing the reservoirs and from cattle congregation around the reservoirs. Naturalness values would 
be impaired on 2 acres within the immediate vicinity of each reservoir. The structures themselves would 
result in a modified landform and detract little from the natural character of the area because of the open 
but dissected nature of the terrain where they are to be constructed. 

The bi-annual use of two motorbikes for livestock trailing and approximately 17 motorized recreational visits 
per year would continue within the nonsuitable area. Continued use of vehicles off roads would gradually 
impair the natural character on accessible portions of the WSA over the long term as vehicle tracks are 
imprinted on the landscape. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Suitable Portion) 

Solitude and primitive unconfined recreation opportunities would be slightly impaired from vehicle travel, 
drilling, and blasting associated with marble exploration in the nonsuitable portion. These sights and sounds 
would affect solitude in the suitable area south of Bars Canyon. There would be negligible long-term effects 



to solitude due to the temporary short duration nature of the operations. 

The elimination of additional mineral exploration and possible development, as well as the elimination of 
off-road vehicle use would tend to insure continued solitude and primitive recreation. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Nonsuitable Portion) 

A small exploration program targeting marble reserves would impair solitude and primitive unconfined 
recreation opportunities near Bar's Canyon in the nonsuitable portion of the WSA. Sights and sounds from 
vehicle travel, drilling and blasting would be limited by the broken topography and the screening provided 
by the juniper woodland. Long-term effects on primitive and unconfined recreation would be negligible due 
to the sporadic and temporary nature of these mining disturbances. Solitude would be slightly diminished 
during the construction of two stock reservoirs along the eastern bench in the nonsuitable portion. 

Within the western part of the nonsuitable area, motorbikes are used by permittees to trail livestock through 
the area. The time of year this activity occurs is dependant on the rotation cycles of pastures between the 
BLM and the Forest Service lands. The effects on solitude are minor. 

Special Features 

The bristlecone pine and many of the scenic geologic features and archaeological values, as well as some 
of the prime raptor habitat are located within the suitable portion of the WSA and would receive the added 
protection afforded from wilderness designation. The special features in the nonsuitable portion which 
include raptor habitat, archaeological values and scenic geologic features are not expected to be adversely 
affected even without wilderness designation. The disturbance of 10 acres for mineral and reservoir 
development will have an insignificant impact on raptor habitat which includes all of the WSA and the lands 
surrounding it. Both the raptor habitat and the scenic geologic features are associated with the more rugged 
and inaccessible areas of the nonsuitable portion. Due to the ruggedness and inaccessibility of most of the 
special features as well as project-specific mitigation of impacts to archaeological values, the few activities 
expected to occur in the nonsuitable portion would have little affect on them. 

CONCLUSION: The excellent opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, highly scenic 
geologic values and the stands of bristlecone pine would be preserved. Impacts to the wilderness 
qualities in the nonsuitable portion of the WSA would occur on approximately 1 acres concentrated 
north of Bars Canyon and on the eastern benches of the WSA. The majority of the disturbance 
would be related to marble exploration and stock reservoir construction. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the 8,300 acre suitable portion of the Marble Canyon WSA would be withdrawn from all 
forms of mineral entry. However, there are existing claims (marble) within the suitable area and marble 
exploration and development is possible on these even if the suitable area is designated as wilderness. 
The suitable area has been identified as having low potential for mineral resources. Exploration for marble 
resources on valid existing claims would be done in a manner that minimizes impacts on the wilderness 
resource while protecting the rights of the operator. Development is not anticipated to take place within the 
suitable portion of the WSA because of the low-grade quality of the marble and distance to potential markets. 

All lands within the 10,850 acre nonsuitable portion of the WSA would remain open for mineral entry. All 
potential mineral resources would be available for exploration and development. This includes approximately 
1,915 acres of high potential for marble and approximately 5,745 acres of moderate potential for marble, 
both located within the northern portion of the WSA. Actual development of mineral resources is not 
expected to occur within either the suitable or nonsuitable portions of the WSA as a result of exploration due 
to the reasons stated above. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of marble resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the suitable portion. Marble resources could be developed on existing claims 
in the suitable portion. All lands within the nonsuitable portion would remain open to mineral entry. 

4-2 



There would be no impacts on the exploration or development of mineral resources within the 
nonsuitable portion. 

IMPACTS ON GRAZING MANAGEMENT 

The use of motorbikes to assist in the trailing of livestock would no longer be allowed within the suitable 
portion. The majority of the suitable portion is too rugged to accommodate the use of motorbikes. Trailing 
could still be accomplished by horseback through the suitable portion or by using motorbikes just to the 
west within the nonsuitable portion. 

The two livestock reservoirs proposed to be constructed to provide intermittent water sources in the 
nonsuitable portion of the WSA would be built. There would be no impacts on grazing management in the 
nonsuitable portion. 

CONCLUSION: The use of motorbikes to assist in the trailing of livestock would not be allowed in 
the suitable portion. This would have only a negligible effect on grazing operations since only a 
small portion of the suitable area lends itself to motorbike use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of naturalness from mineral 
exploration and construction of two stock reservoirs projected within the recommended nonsuitable area. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA would allow all present short-term 
uses to continue. Mineral exploration would reduce naturalness over the long term. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

There would be no irreversible and irretrievable commitment of the wilderness resource because the only 
irreversible activity, mining is not expected to occur. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 19,150 acres of public land in the Marble Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-2). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Surface disturbance associated with mineral exploration activities on valid claims, including minimal access 
construction and drill pads, would physically disturb and impair the natural character of 2 acres within the 
Bars Canyon area of the Marble Canyon WSA. Construction of drill pads and access would result in 
localized areas of scarified topography which would last many years. The visual impacts of these 
disturbances would be limited by the broken topography and the screening provided by the juniper 
woodland. 

A slight, positive effect on naturalness would occur with the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational 
vehicles (approximately 25 visits per year). This action would halt the formation of new two-wheel tracks 
associated with repeated motorized-vehicle use. Also benefiting naturalness would be the withdrawal of 
the area to additional mineral exploration. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Solitude and primitive recreation would be slightly impaired in the northern portion of the WSA from the 
presence of a small exploration program targeting marble reserves. Sights and sounds from vehicle travel, 
drilling and blasting would be limited, however, by the broken topography and the screening provided by 
the juniper woodland. There would be negligible long-term effects to solitude and primitive recreation due 
to the temporary short duration nature of the operations. The elimination of additional marble exploration 

4-3 



would insure continued solitude and primitive recreation. 

Special Features 

The area's special features including bristlecone pine, scenic geologic features, archaeological values and 
raptor habitat would remain protected under this alternative. They would receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: The bristlecone pine, geologic and archaeological values and prime raptor habitat 
would be preserved. The outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive unconfined recreation 
would be retained on 19,148 acres. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire 19,150 acre Marble Canyon WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry. Exploration 
and development of marble resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within the WSA. This 
includes approximately 1,915 acres of high potential for marble and approximately 5,745 acres of moderate 
potential for marble, both located within the northern portion of the WSA. 

Exploration for mineral resources on valid existing claims would be done in a manner that minimizes impacts 
on the wilderness resource while protecting the rights of the operator. Exploration to determine the extent 
of marble deposits, disturbing approximately 2 acres, would take place within the WSA. With or without 
wilderness designation, actual development of mineral resources is not projected to take place within the 
WSA due to the low grade quality of the marble and the distance to potential markets. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the WSA. Restricted exploration activity would occur. Development of the 
marble reserves is not expected to take place. 

IMPACTS ON GRAZING MANAGEMENT 

The two stock reservoirs proposed to be constructed to provide intermittent water sources on the east 
bench would not be constructed. This would not affect current grazing practices within the WSA. The 
presence of the reservoirs would help tap available run-off; however, water hauling by the operator would 
still be necessary and continue. The use of motorbikes for the trailing of cattle would not be allowed. 
Switching from the use of motorbikes to horses to accomplish livestock trailing would be more costly and 
time consuming, thereby imparting some inconvenience to the operator. 

CONCLUSION: The construction of two stock reservoirs would not be allowed having no effect on 
current grazing practices. The switching from the use of motorbikes to horses to accomplish 
livestock trailing would have a slight adverse economic impact on the operator. 

NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

None of the 19,150 acres of the Marble Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-3). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Surface disturbance associated with mineral exploration activities, including access routes and drill pads, 
would physically disturb and impair the natural character of 6 acres north of Bars Canyon in the WSA. 
Construction of drill pads and up to 2 miles of access would result in localized areas of scarified topography 
which would last many years. The visual impacts of these disturbances would be limited to approximately 
6 acres by the broken topography and the screening provided by the juniper woodland. 

Two stock reservoirs (.25 acres each) would be constructed along the eastern bench in the WSA. 
Disturbance of soil and vegetation would result from the use of a bulldozer in constructing the reservoirs 
and from cattle congregation around the reservoirs. Naturalness values would be impaired on 2 acres 

4- 4 



within the immediate vicinity of each reservoir. The structures themselves would result in a modified 
landform and detract from the natural character of the area because of the open nature of the terrain where 
they are to be constructed. 

The bi-annual use of two to four motorbikes for livestock trailing.vehicle use for mineral exploration and 25 
motorized recreational visits per year would continue. Continued long-term use of vehicles off roads would 
gradually create a few primitive two-track routes. These vehicle trails would be dispersed along the more 
accessible eastern benches of the WSA. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

A small exploration program targeting marble reserves would impair solitude and primitive and unconfined 
recreation opportunities near Bar's Canyon. Sights and sounds from vehicle travel, drilling and blasting 
would be limited by the broken topography and the screening provided by the juniper woodland. 
Opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be slightly diminished during the construction of 
two stock reservoirs along the eastern bench. 

Within the western part of the WSA, motorbikes are used by permittees to trail livestock through the area. 
The time of year this activity occurs is dependant on the rotation cycles of pastures between the BLM and 
the Forest Service lands. The effects on solitude are minor. 

Special Features 

The area's special features including bristlecone pine and archaeological values would be largely unaffected. 
The bristlecone pine are located in a very rugged area where no disturbing uses are expected to occur. The 
geologic features, raptor habitat, and archaeological values located within the steep-walled Bar's Canyon 
and Marble Canyons are fairly inaccessible and would not be affected to any large degree by activities 
proposed within the WSA. The disturbance of 10 acres for mineral and reservoir development will have an 
insignificant impact on raptor habitat which includes all of the WSA and the lands surrounding it. A 2-acre 
portion in the Bar's Canyon area would be slightly impaired due to the marble exploration program. These 
impacts would be short-lived and no long-term impacts are expected. 

CONCLUSION: Impairment of the wilderness values would occur on approximately 10 acres near 
Bars Canyon and the eastern bench of the Marble Canyon WSA. Opportunities for solitude and 
primitive unconfined recreation, the bristlecone pines, raptor habitat and archaeological values would 
be unaffected. The remaining 19,140 acres would retain their wilderness values except for the 
creation of a few primitive two-tracked routes. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the Marble Canyon WSA would remain open for mineral entry. All potential mineral resources 
would be available for exploration and development. This includes approximately 1,915 acres of high 
potential for marble and approximately 5,745 acres of moderate potential for marble, both located within the 
northern portion of the WSA. (See Mineral Favorability Map). 

Because all potential minerals would remain available for development, there would be no impact on the 
exploration for or development of potential mineral resources. 

CONCLUSION: All lands within the WSA would remain open to mineral entry. There would be no 
impacts on the exploration or development of mineral resources. 

IMPACTS ON GRAZING MANAGEMENT 

The two livestock water reservoirs proposed along the east bench of the Marble Canyon WSA would be 
constructed and the use of motorbikes for trailing of livestock would continue. 

CONCLUSION: There would be no impact on grazing management within the Marble Canyon WSA 
under the No Wilderness Alternative. 

4- 5 



HHE^^^^HH 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 1 (NV-050-201) 

PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 1 1 ,090 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-4). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, the extraction of sand and gravel from the material sites rights-of-way would 
physically disturb 320 acres within the WSA. 

It is projected that exploration would eventually occur on the existing mining claims located within the 
southeast portion of the WSA. Exploration efforts would entail the construction of 1 mile of road and the 
trenching of test pits. A projected total of 2.5 acres of ground would be physically disturbed from this 
mining activity. Naturalness would be lost not only on the on the 2.5 acres disturbed, but also on the 
surrounding area due to the impacts to visual resources. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above ground 
utilities extending the 14 mile length of the WSA. Construction projections of five transmission lines and 
one access road would result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would 
physically disturb an estimated 480 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines 
across the landscape would result in a modified landform, detracting from the natural character of the entire 
area because of the open terrain where they are to be constructed. 

Motorized recreational use such as off-road driving, vehicle camping and sightseeing would continue within 
the WSA under the Proposed Action. The study area's terrain consists of an open bajada that is readily 
accessible to vehicles. The construction of access roads associated with the projected development of new 
utilities would increase accessibility into the WSA for motorized vehicles. The newly created tracks and ways 
from increased off-road activity would physically disturb an estimated 20 acres within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 45 to 90 visits annually. 

Disturbances caused by actions described above including sand and gravel operations, mining, utility 
corridors, and off-road vehicle use would impair the visual quality of naturalness on the entire 1 1 ,090 acres 
of the WSA because these activities would be seen from all locations in the WSA. These activities would 
create unnatural lines, add color contrasts and impose non-natural forms and structures on an otherwise 
natural setting. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, outstanding opportunities for solitude within the WSA would be lost on all 
11,090 acres as a result of the unnatural sights and sounds created by the continuing use of heavy 
equipment for the construction and maintenance of the proposed utilities and associated roads, and by 
motorized recreational vehicles. In addition, there would be continued use of heavy motorized vehicles to 
extract sand and gravel from the existing material sites and exploration of existing mining claims. Increased 
motorized activity would contribute to the loss of opportunities for solitude within the WSA. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the entire WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for 
hiking, rock collecting and sightseeing. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase 
from an. estimated 1 5 to 20 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 



4-6 



CONCLUSION: Projected development of utilities, motorized recreational vehicle use, extraction 
of sand and gravel and mineral exploration are projected to physically disturb an estimated 823 
acres. The visual perception of naturalness would be impaired on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation within the entire WSA would be diminished and, 
in some instances lost due to audio and visual distractions. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the WSA would remain open for mineral entry and all mineral resources would be available 
for exploration and development. Mineral development is not foreseen within the WSA. Extraction of sand 
and gravel on 320 acres within two existing material sites would occur. Mitigation measures required to 
protect the desert tortoise (Chapter 2 - Non-Energy Mineral Resource Actions) would impact methods and 
costs of exploration and development. 

CONCLUSION: All lands within the WSA would remain open to mineral entry. No adverse impacts 
on the exploration or development of mineral resources is anticipated. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 45 to 90 visits annually. The majority of the 
use would occur along the eastern boundary of the WSA, where the projected access roads would be 
constructed. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized hunting and trapping access, dirt-biking, off- 
road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would increase under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

A total of five transmission lines would be developed in the WSA. Mitigation measures (see Chapter 2) 
designed to protect desert tortoises and their habitat would affect site specific line location and access. 
However, four buried utility lines, two gas and two fiber optic, discussed in the draft EIS would not be 
developed because of mitigating measures and restrictions required for the protection of Category I desert 
tortoise habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed action would allow the development of five transmission 
lines in the WSA, however, four buried utility lines would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise in Category I habitat. 

IMPACTS ON EXISTING MATERIAL SITE RIGHTS-OF-WAY 

The Nevada Department of Transportation would be able to use any or all of their existing material sites at 
their discretion subject to mitigation required for the desert tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: No impact to existing material site rights-of-way. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 1 1 ,090 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but would be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category I tortoise habitat designation. Even with the implementation of the mitigating 
measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 823 acres of desert tortoise habitat due to the 
construction of five 500 kv powerlines, removal of sand and gravel, mineral exploration and motorized 
recreational vehicle use. This amounts to a loss of seven percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise 
habitat. While replacement habitat could be provided outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss 
of habitat within the WSA would occur. 



I- 7 



The draft EIS projected the construction of four buried utility lines in addition to the current projection of 
five electrical transmission lines. The impact of these lines would be to fragment the tortoise habitat and 
increase the loss of habitat dramatically. As a result of the disturbance associated with construction of four 
lineal underground lines and the access routes that would result, the loss of habitat would increase from 823 
to 5,473 acres. The habitat would be fragmented in two ways: 1) three narrow strips 14 miles long would 
be created in-between the four buried lines and 2) the habitat would be fragmented into two areas - one east 
of the utility corridor and one west of the utility corridor. This greater loss of habitat is inconsistent with the 
management goals associated with the projected Category I habitat designation and therefore the four 
buried lines are no longer projected for construction. 

CONCLUSION: 823 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction, motorized recreational use and mineral 
exploration. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be the loss of wilderness values on all 1 1 ,090 acres and the loss 
of 823 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat as a result of utility line construction, sand and gravel 
extraction, motorized recreational use and mineral exploration. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

All present short-term uses could continue. Current projections reduce the amount of desert tortoise habitat 
in the future (long-term) by seven percent. It will take years of future study to correlate the long-term impact 
this loss of habitat will have on tortoise populations. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected actions would result in the irreversible and irretrievable commitment (loss) of 1 1 ,090 acres 
containing wilderness values and 823 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat due to the permanent alteration 
of the area as a result of electrical transmission line construction and sand and gravel extraction. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 1 1 ,090 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-5). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness would be enhanced by the closure of the WSA to motorized use halting the formation of new 
tracks and ways associated with repeated cross country off-road vehicle use and allowing existing tracks 
to revegetate. Access to and extraction of sand and gravel from the three existing material sites would 
physically disturb 320 acres. The sand and gravel operations could be seen from all locations in the WSA 
and would result in the loss of the visual quality of naturalness in all of the WSA. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the WSA would be impaired but not lost within 
the entire WSA due to activities associated with sand and gravel extraction. During active sand and gravel 
operations the opportunities for solitude would be severely impaired. However, when no operations are 
being conducted little if any impacts would occur. Primitive recreation activities would be similarly affected. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Extraction of sand and gravel is projected to physically disturb an 
estimated 320 acres. The visual perception of naturalness would be impaired on the entire 

4-8 



WSA. Outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation within the entire WSA 
would be diminished during periods of active sand and gravel operations due to audio and 
visual distractions. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The 1 1 ,090 acres would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry with the exception of the two material 
sites (320 acres) which could be used for sand and gravel extraction by the Nevada Department of 
Transportation. Exploration and development of mineral resources (none of which is projected) would be 
foregone on all 11,090 acres. The 2.5 acres of exploratory surface disturbance projected under 
nonwilderness would not occur. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration for and development of mineral resources would be foregone 
within the WSA due to a withdrawal from mineral entry. 320 acres would be developed by 
the state for sand and gravel extraction on existing material sites. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 1 1 ,090 acre Fish and Wildlife No. 1 WSA to all forms of motorized 
recreational use. Approximately 45 visits annually of cross country motorized recreational use, including off- 
road driving, motorized access for hunting and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public 
land that offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; 
therefore, motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 45 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

No utility lines could be constructed and no corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, utilities could not be developed within 
the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXISTING MATERIAL SITE RIGHTS-OF-WAY 

The Nevada Department of Transportation would be able to use any or all of their existing material sites at 
their discretion subject to mitigation required as part of the desert tortoise habitat categorization process. 

CONCLUSION: No impact to existing material site rights-of-way. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category I desert habitat by eliminating the 
habitat losses projected to occur as a result of utility development and motorized vehicle use. However, 
320 acres of Category I habitat would still be lost due to sand and gravel extraction on material sites. This 
is a three percent loss of Category I habitat. Mitigating measures such as fencing and relocation (Chapter 
2) could lessen impacts to individual animals but the 320 acres of habitat would be severely impacted. 

CONCLUSION: 320 acres of Category I habitat would be lost due to the extraction of sand 
and gravel from existing material sites. 



4-9 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 2 (NV-050-216) 



PROPOSED ACTION (No Wilderness/No Action Alternative) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 17,242 acres area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-6). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above ground 
utilities extending the 1 1 mile length of the WSA. Construction projections of five transmission lines and 
one access road would result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would 
physically disturb an estimated 385 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines 
across the landscape would result in a modified landform, detracting from the natural character of the entire 
17,242 acres because of the open terrain where they are to be constructed. 

Motorized recreational use such as off-road driving, vehicle camping and sightseeing would continue within 
the WSA under the Proposed Action. A large portion of the study area consists of an open bajada, readily 
accessible to vehicles. The construction of access roads associated with the projected development of new 
utilities would increase accessibility into the WSA for motorized vehicles. The newly created tracks and ways 
from increased off-road activity would physically disturb an estimated 15 acres within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 75 to 125 visits annually. 

The construction of two bighorn sheep water developments within the WSA would have a negligible effect 
on the area's natural character, as the placement and design of each catchment would blend into the 
landscape and only be recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, outstanding opportunities for solitude within the WSA would deteriorate and 
in some instance be lost as a result of the unnatural sights and sounds created by the continuing use of 
heavy equipment for the construction and maintenance of the proposed utilities and associated access 
routes, and by motorized recreational vehicles. Increased motorized activity would also contribute to the 
diminishing opportunities for solitude within the WSA. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for hiking, 
rock collecting and sightseeing. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 15 to 25 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Projected development of utilities, motorized recreational vehicle use, extraction 
of sand and gravel and mineral exploration are projected to physically disturb an estimated 400 
acres. The visual perception of naturalness would be impaired on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation within the entire WSA would be diminished and, 
in some instances lost due to audio and visual distractions. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 75 to 125 visits annually. The majority of the 
use would occur along the eastern boundary of the WSA, where the projected access roads would be 



4-10 



constructed. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized access for hunting and trapping, dirt-biking, off- 
road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would increase under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

A total of five transmission lines would be developed in the WSA. Mitigation measures (see Chapter 2) 
designed to protect desert tortoises and their habitat would affect site specific line location and access. 
However, four buried utility lines, two gas and two fiber optic, discussed in the draft EIS would not be 
developed because of mitigating measures and restrictions required for the protection of Category I desert 
tortoise habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed action would allow the development of five transmission 
lines in the WSA, however, four buried utility lines would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise in Category I habitat. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 1 1 ,007 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but would be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category I tortoise habitat designation. Even with the implementation of the mitigating 
measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 400 acres of desert tortoise habitat due to the 
construction of five 500 kv powerlines and motorized recreational vehicle use. This amounts to a loss of four 
percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise habitat. While replacement habitat could be provided 
outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss of habitat within the WSA would occur. 

The draft EIS projected the construction of four buried utility lines in addition to the current projection of 
five electrical transmission lines. The impact of these lines would be to fragment the tortoise habitat and 
increase the loss of habitat dramatically. As a result of the disturbance associated with construction of four 
lineal underground lines and the access routes that would result, the loss of habitat would increase from 400 
to 4,300 acres. The habitat would be fragmented in two ways: 1) three narrow strips 1 1 miles long would 
be created in-between the four buried lines and 2) the habitat would be fragmented into two areas - one east 
of the utility corridor and one west of the utility corridor. This greater loss of habitat is inconsistent with the 
management goals associated with the projected Category I habitat designation and therefore the four 
buried lines are no longer projected for construction. 

CONCLUSION: 400 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost due to utility 
development and motorized recreational use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be the loss of wilderness values on all 1 1 ,007 acres and the loss 
of 400 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat as a result of utility line construction and motorized recreational 
use. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

All present short-term uses could continue. Current projections reduce the amount of desert tortoise habitat 
in the future (long-term) by four percent. It will take years of future study to correlate the long-term impact 
this loss of habitat will have on tortoise populations. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected actions would result in the irreversible and irretrievable commitment (loss) of 1 1 ,007 acres 
containing wilderness values and 400 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat due to the permanent alteration 
of the area as a result of electrical transmission line construction. 



4-11 



ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 17,242 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-7). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be enhanced by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles halting 
the formation of new tracks and ways associated with repeated cross county and off-road vehicle use. 

Preclusion of the development of utilities would benefit the wilderness value of naturalness. 

No range developments or wildlife habitat projects are located within the WSA. The construction of two 
bighorn sheep water developments within the WSA would have a negligible effect on the area's natural 
character, as the placement and design of each catchment would blend into the landscape and only be 
recognizable from their immediate vicinity. Maintenance of the developments would be done by hand. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the central portion of the WSA would be retained. 
Visitors would utilize this portion of the WSA as it offers the best opportunities for hiking, nature study and 
photography. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 15 to 50 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Wilderness designation would enhance the protection and preservation of desert tortoise by precluding 
activities such as the development of utilities and cross country vehicle use. 

CONCLUSION: Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of 
desert tortoise. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 17,242 acre Fish and Wildlife No. 2 WSA to all forms of motorized 
recreational use. Approximately 75 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, 
motorized access for hunting and trapping, and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public 
land that offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; 
therefore, motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 75 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

No utility lines could be constructed and no corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, utilities could not be developed. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category I desert tortoise habitat by eliminating 
the habitat losses projected to occur as a result of utility development and motorized vehicle use. 

CONCLUSION: Category I desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within the WSA. 



4-12 



FISH AND WILDLIFE NO. 3 (NV-050-217) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 22,002 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-8). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, the extraction of sand and gravel from the material site right-of-way would 
physically disturb 40 acres within the WSA. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above ground 
utilities extending the 18 mile length of the WSA. Construction projections of five transmission lines and 
one access road would result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would 
physically disturb an estimated 630 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines 
across the landscape would result in a modified landform, detracting from the natural character of the entire 
area because of the open terrain where they are to be constructed. 

Motorized recreational use such as off-road driving, vehicle camping and sightseeing would continue within 
the WSA. The study area's terrain consists of an open bajada that is readily accessible to vehicles. The 
construction of access roads associated with the projected development of new utilities would increase 
accessibility into the WSA for motorized vehicles. The newly created tracks and ways from increased off- 
road activity would physically disturb an estimated 26 acres within the WSA. Motorized recreational use is 
projected to increase from an estimated 60 to 105 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, outstanding opportunities for solitude within the WSA would be lost as a result 
of the unnatural sights and sounds created by the continuing use of heavy equipment for the construction 
and maintenance of the proposed utilities and associated access routes and by motorized recreational 
vehicles. In addition, there would be continued use of heavy motorized vehicles to extract sand and gravel 
from the existing and two projected material sites. Increased motorized activity would also contribute to the 
loss in opportunities for solitude within the WSA. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for hiking, 
rock collecting and sightseeing. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 10 to 15 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

One variety of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp . roseus ) has been identified at three separate locales 
within the WSA. One location is along the area's eastern border and the two other sites are located along 
the extreme western border. This is a sensitive species currently listed on the "Federal Register of 
Threatened and Endangered Species", as Category 2 (Watch). 

The site along the WSA's eastern border would be in direct conflict with the projected utility development. 
Prior to development, measures would be taken to mitigate any surface disturbance so as to protect the 
plant. 

CONCLUSION: Projected development of utilities, motorized recreational vehicle use, extraction 
of sand and gravel and mineral exploration are projected to physically disturb an estimated 696 



4-13 



acres. The visual perception of naturalness would be impaired on the entire WSA. Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation within the entire WSA would be diminished and, 
in some instances lost due to audio and visual distractions. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 60 to 105 visits annually. The majority of the 
use would occur along the eastern boundary of the WSA, where the projected access roads would be 
constructed. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized hunting and trapping access, dirt-biking, off- 
road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

A total of five transmission lines would be developed in the WSA. Mitigation measures (see Chapter 2) 
designed to protect desert tortoises and their habitat would affect site specific line location and access. 
However, four buried utility lines, two gas and two fiber optic, discussed in the draft EIS would not be 
developed because of mitigating measures and restrictions required for the protection of Category I desert 
tortoise habitat. 

The location of a penstemon site (see Special Features) within the probable utility corridor will require 
special mitigation. At a minimum, site specific population studies will be required to map the extent of the 
plant's habitat and a recovery/reclamation plan and environmental analysis will have to be completed to 
assess the impacts. Location of transmission towers and related facilities could be affected. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed action would allow the development of five transmission 
lines in the WSA. Four buried utility lines would not be developed because of unacceptable 
impacts on desert tortoise in Category I habitat. Special consideration would be given to 
the penstemon population. 

IMPACTS ON EXISTING MATERIAL SITE RIGHT-OF-WAY 

The Nevada Department of Transportation would be able to use any or all of the existing material site at 
their discretion subject to mitigation required for the desert tortoise. Two additional projected material sites 
would not be developed due to restricted management of desert tortoise habitat. 



CONCLUSION: No impact to the existing material site right-of-way. 



IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 19,812 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but would be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category i tortoise habitat designation. Even with the implementation of the mitigating 
measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 696 acres of desert tortoise habitat due to the 
construction of five 500 kv powerlines, removal of sand and gravel and motorized recreational vehicle use. 
This amounts to a loss of four percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise habitat. While replacement 
habitat could be provided outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss of habitat within the WSA 
would occur. 

The draft EIS projected the construction of four buried utility lines in addition to the current projection of 
five electrical transmission lines. The impact of these lines would be to fragment the tortoise habitat and 
increase the loss of habitat dramatically. As a result of the disturbance associated with construction of four 
lineal underground lines and the access routes that would result, the loss of habitat would increase from 696 
to 6,863 acres. The habitat would be fragmented in two ways: 1) three narrow strips 18 miles long would 
be created in-between the four buried lines and 2) the habitat would be fragmented into two areas - one east 

4-14 



of the utility corridor and one west of the utility corridor. This greater loss of habitat is inconsistent with the 
management goals associated with the projected Category I habitat designation and therefore the four 
buried lines are no longer projected for construction. 

CONCLUSION: 696 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction and motorized recreational use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be the loss of wilderness values on all 22,002 acres and the loss 
of 696 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat as a result of utility line construction, sand and gravel 
extraction and motorized recreational use. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

All present short-term uses could continue. Current projections reduce the amount of desert tortoise habitat 
in the future (long-term) by four percent. It will take years of future study to correlate the long-term impact 
this loss of habitat will have on tortoise populations. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected actions would result in the irreversible and irretrievable commitment (loss) of 22,002 acres 
containing wilderness values and 696 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat due to the permanent alteration 
of the area as a result of electrical transmission line construction and sand and gravel extraction. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, 22,002 acres of public land in the Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA would 
be recommended suitable for wilderness designation. (Map 2-9). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be enhanced by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 1 05 visits of motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the study area. 
This action would halt the formation of new tracks and ways associated with repeated cross county and off- 
road vehicle use. However, unauthorized off-road driving is projected to occur intermittently along the 
WSA's eastern boundary causing 10 acres of surface disturbance. 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, access to and the extraction of sand and gravel from one existing 
material site located within the central portion of the WSA would physically disturb 40 acres. As the right- 
of-way for the site was issued in perpetuity to the Nevada Department of Transportation and constitutes a 
valid existing right, full utilization of the site is projected. 

Naturalness would benefit from the withdrawal of the area to any potential mineral exploration and the 
preclusion of the projected development of utilities. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the WSA would be retained. Visitors would utilize 
the WSA occasionally for hiking, nature study and photography. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use 
within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 10 to 30 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

One variety of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp . roseus) has been identified at three separate locales 
within the WSA. One location is along the area's eastern border and the two other sites are located along 
the extreme western border. This is a sensitive species currently listed on the "Federal Register of 



Threatened and Endangered Species", as Category 2 (Watch). Wilderness designation would enhance the 
protection of this plant. 

CONCLUSION: Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of 
desert tortoise and the sensitive plant. Activities related to the authorized extraction of sand and 
gravel and unauthorized vehicle use would impair naturalness qualities over approximately 50 acres 
of the WSA. Special features would be afforded added protection from wilderness designation. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 22,002 acre Fish and Wildlife No. 3 WSA to all forms of motorized 
recreational use. Approximately 60 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, 
motorized access for hunting and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public land that 
offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 60 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

No utility lines could be constructed and no corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, utilities could not be developed. 

IMPACTS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF MATERIAL SITES 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative the existing material site right-of-way for sand and gravel would be 
utilized by the Nevada Department of Transportation. The material site, encompassing 40 acres, was issued 
prior to 1976, thereby, ensuring its use in perpetuity. The issuance of new rights-of-way for the development 
of two projected material sites would not be allowed under wilderness designation. Public land that offers 
potential material sites for sand and gravel are located throughout the region; therefore, the material sites 
foregone in the WSA could be developed on surrounding public lands. The impacts of shifting this type of 
development to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Full utilization of the one existing material site within the WSA would occur under 
perpetuity. The two material sites foregone could be developed on surrounding public lands. The 
impacts of shifting the development of the material sites would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category I desert tortoise habitat by eliminating 
the habitat losses projected to occur as a result of utility development and limiting habitat loss due to 
material site development and motorized vehicle use to 50 acres.. 

CONCLUSION: Category I desert tortoise habitat would be preserved within the WSA except for 
an estimated 50 acres which would be lost within the WSA as vegetation and soils are removed 
during the authorized extraction of sand and gravel and unauthorized use of off-road recreational 
vehicles. 



4-16 



LIME CANYON WSA (NV-050-231) 

PROPOSED ACTION (PARTIAL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends 13,895 acres suitable for wilderness designation and 20,785 acres 

nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-10). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness (Suitable Portion) 

The 13,895 acre area recommended suitable would be closed to motorized recreational use, eliminating 
30 visits of motorized recreational use estimated to occur annually within this portion of the WSA. This 
would improve the naturalness values within those areas of the recommended suitable portion that are 
accessible to motorized vehicles. However, occasional unauthorized motorized vehicle use is foreseen 
along the southern border of the suitable area. The compaction and removal of vegetation and soils 
resulting from this use would slowly deteriorate an estimated 5 acres within the recommended suitable 
area. This would have a negligible effect on the natural character of the area. 

The perception of naturalness within the eastern portion of the recommended suitable area (approximately 
980 acres) would be negatively impacted by the projected mineral activity occurring in the adjacent 
nonsuitable area. The extraction of minerals from the patented mining claims and public lands located 
within the recommended nonsuitable area would diminish the natural and pristine scenic vistas along the 
eastern border of the recommended suitable portion. 

The construction of two bighorn sheep water developments within the recommended suitable area would 
have a negligible effect on the area's natural character, as the placement and design of the tanks would 
blend into the landscape and only be recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

No other surface disturbing activities are projected to occur within the recommended suitable portion of 
the WSA. 

Naturalness (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue along the roads, ways and washes 
located within the 20,785 acres of the WSA recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. This 
would include 12.7 miles of existing ways and 11 miles of new roads projected for mineral and oil and gas 
exploration and development. Increased accessibility and use within the WSA from off-road vehicles would 
create two-track routes within the area. Repeated use of these tracks would remove vegetation and 
compact soils, disturbing an estimated 35 acres within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 
Cross country, off-road recreational use is projected to increase from 150 to 230 visits per year within the 
recommended nonsuitable area. 

Surface disturbance associated with the development of two gypsum mines (extensions of mines developed 
on the patented mining claims) would physically disturb an estimated 620 acres within the nonsuitable area. 
The blading of 10 miles of new roads, construction of auxiliary facilities and shops and the extraction of 
minerals would result in the removal of vegetation and soils, scarifying the landscape. 

The projected drilling of one exploratory well would take place within the east-central portion of the 
recommended nonsuitable area. The projected activity would physically disturb 4.5 acres as vegetation 
and topsoil are removed during the construction of 1 mile of access road and well pads. 

The scars left on the landscape by the mining activity and the oil and gas exploration would visually impair 
the natural character of the entire recommended nonsuitable area. 

The construction of one bighorn sheep water development within the recommended nonsuitable area would 
have a negligible effect on the area's natural character, as the placement and design of the tanks would 

4-17 



blend into the landscape and only be recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Suitable Portion) 

Outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be available within the recommended 
suitable portion of the WSA. These values however, would be diminished along the eastern and southern 
borders (approximately 985 acres) as a result of the noise and visual disturbance from projected mining 
activity and unauthorized motorized recreational use occurring on adjacent public and private lands. 

The scenic and geologic qualities of Lime Canyon and the rugged western landscape would be preserved. 
This terrain would also provide visitors with areas of seclusion and scenic camp sites, as well as 
opportunities to view wildlife and study unusual geologic features. Primitive recreational (non- motorized) 
use within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 40 to 
170 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Nonsuitable Portion) 

The noise and visual disturbance created by motorized recreational use, projected mineral development, 
and oil and gas exploration would destroy the outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation 
available within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. These activities would reduce, and in 
some instances, eliminate areas that provide opportunities for seclusion and solitude. The sights and 
sounds of ongoing mining activity, i.e. day to day hauling of ore and heavy equipment use, would continue 
through the life of the mine (approximately 10 to 15 years). 

The ongoing maintenance of existing and projected range improvements and wildlife developments within 
the WSA would detract from the feeling of solitude during the time maintenance was performed. This is 
normally of short duration and is infrequent (usually once a year). 

Outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation would be lost within the nonsuitable area. The physical 
scars left on the landscape as a result of mineral extraction would permanently void the area of any scenic 
or photographic qualities. The nonsuitable portion would provide hikers and backpackers with few 
interesting or scenic destinations or points of interest. Opportunities to view wildlife would be reduced 
because of increased motorized activity. Campsites would be eliminated as the projected mineral 
development encroaches upon the most available and appealing areas. Primitive recreational use within the 
recommended nonsuitable area is projected to slowly increase from an estimated 25 to 35 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Several special features exist within the WSA. Lime Canyon and Lime Ridge render unique scenic, 
geological and possible cultural values. 

One plant and one animal species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered 
Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. The golden bear poppy (Arctomecon 
California ) has been located in an area along the WSA's eastern boundary road. A gila monster (Heloderma 
suspectum ) was sighted on Lime Ridge in 1980. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) may occur within the WSA but the closest area categorized as 
desert tortoise habitat is several miles northeast of the WSA. No categorized desert tortoise habitat (I, II 
or III) occurs within the WSA (Map 3-19). 

Motorized recreational use occurring near the nonsuitable area's eastern boundary could negatively impact 
the golden bear poppy. The mineral resource activities projected to occur along Lime Ridge would degrade 
geological and scenic values and could negatively impact the gila monster, which has been identified to 
occur within this portion of the WSA. Prior to mineral development, measures would be taken to mitigate 
any surface disturbance so as to protect these special features. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and 



primitive recreation and the special geological value of Lime Canyon would be retained within 1 2,905 
of the 13,895 acres of the recommended suitable portion. Wilderness values on the remaining 985 
acres of the suitable area would be diminished and, in some instances lost, due to the influence of 
the projected gypsum mining occurring on adjacent public and private lands and occasional 
unauthorized cross country vehicle use. There would be a loss of wilderness values on the 20,785 
acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation as continued and increasing cross 
country recreational vehicle use, projected mineral development, and oil and gas exploration would 
negatively impact wilderness values. Special features would be afforded some protection through 
mitigative measures and the implementation of future management actions. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the 13,895 acres recommended suitable for wilderness designation would be withdrawn 
from all forms of mineral entry. Exploration and development of gypsum resources would be foregone on 
all unclaimed lands within the suitable portion of the WSA. Exploration for and/or development of gypsum 
within this portion of the WSA is not projected, as the potential resource would be more accessible within 
the nonsuitable area. 

All lands within the 20,785 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation would remain open 
to mineral entry. All potential mineral resources would be available for exploration and development. This 
includes approximately 20,785 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic mineral 
resources. Two gypsum mines are projected for development within the recommended nonsuitable area. 
Processing facilities would be located outside the WSA. No adverse impacts to mineral exploration and 
development are projected to occur. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of gypsum resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. However, no mineral 
exploration or development of these lands is projected. The development of two gypsum mines are 
projected to occur within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the 13,895 acres recommended suitable for wilderness designation would be withdrawn 
from oil and gas leasing. Included are 13,895 acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy 
resources. Exploration for oil and gas within this portion of the WSA is not projected because of the low 
potential for the resource. 

All lands within the 20,785 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation would remain open 
for oil and gas exploration. These lands have a low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. 

One exploratory well is projected to be drilled along the nonsuitable area's eastern boundary based on 
current energy exploration activity occurring outside this WSA. However, production is not projected 
because of the area's low favorability. 

No other energy exploration is projected to occur within the WSA. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration of potential oil and gas resources would be foregone within the 
recommended suitable portion of the WSA. However, neither is projected to occur. The exploration 
of one well is projected within the nonsuitable area; production is not expected. There would be 
no impacts on the exploration of potential energy resources within the WSA under the Proposed 
Action. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close 13,895 acres of the WSA recommended suitable to motorized 
recreational use, eliminating approximately 40 visits of motorized recreational use annually. Public land 
offering similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region. Therefore, 

4-19 



motorized recreational use foregone would be absorbed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA and on 
surrounding public lands. The impact of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable 
portion of the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 150 to 230 
visits annually. The majority of the use would occur within the eastern portion of the nonsuitable area, 
where the terrain is more conducive to this use and where the projected access roads would be 
constructed. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized hunting and trapping access, off-road driving 
and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 13,895 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation and approximately 40 visits would be foregone annually. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The extent (if any) of desert tortoise habitat in the WSA is unknown. The draft EIS indicated that the western 
edge of the WSA was noncrucial habitat, however, in the more recent (August 1989) categorization of 
habitat, in response to the emergency endangered species listing, no desert tortoise habitat was categorized 
within the WSA. Future more site specific population studies may find this area to be desert tortoise habitat 
since the known tortoise habitat is located a few miles away and the area is below the 4,000 foot tortoise 
habitat elevational limit. While the this alternative would protect the western edge of the area, motorized 
uses and mineral exploration in the eastern nonsuitable part of area could unknowingly impact tortoise 
habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The status of tortoise habitat in the area is unknown. Adverse impacts could 
unknowingly occur until further population studies are conducted. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

Unavoidable adverse impacts would occur to wilderness values on 985 acres of the 13,895 acres 
recommended suitable because of influences from mining activity occurring on adjacent lands and 
unauthorized cross country motorized recreational use. 

On the 20,785 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation, the unavoidable adverse impacts 
would be those associated with the loss of wilderness values from increased motorized recreational use, 
mineral development and oil and gas exploration. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

On 12,900 acres out of the 13,895 acres designated wilderness, the wilderness values would be retained. 

On the 20,785 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation, all present uses would continue. 
Increased cross country motorized recreational use, projected mineral development and oil and gas 
exploration would reduce wilderness values. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

Of the 13,895 acres designated wilderness, irretrievable commitments of wilderness resources are expected 
on approximately 985 acres. 

On the 20,785 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation, mineral development would 
create an irreversible commitment of wilderness resources. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 34,680 acres of public land in the Lime Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-11). 

4-20 



IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be retained by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 260 visits of motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the study 
area. This action would close existing ways, new roads projected from mineral activity, and would halt the 
formation of new two-wheel tracks associated with repeated off-road use. However, unauthorized off-road 
driving is projected to occur intermittently along the WSA's boundary roads. Vegetation and soils would be 
compacted as a result of this use, disturbing approximately 15 acres within the study area. This would have 
a negligible effect on the overall naturalness values of the WSA. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements (developed springs, reservoir) within the WSA would not 
change. Maintenance of projected and exiting wildlife developments would continue to be done by hand. 
This would have a negligible effect on naturalness. 

Surface disturbance associated with the projected development of two gypsum mines (extensions of mines 
developed on patented claims) including blading of 6 miles of access roads, construction of shops and 
auxiliary facilities and extraction of minerals, would physically disturb an estimated 600 acres. Scars left 
from the mining would be visible throughout the eastern portion of the WSA, impairing the perceived 
naturalness within approximately 16,800 acres. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Opportunities for solitude and primitive types of recreational pursuits would be diminished and, in some 
areas lost, within approximately 16,800 acres of the WSA as a result of the noise and visual disturbances 
created by heavy equipment use and the day to day operation of the projected mines. These disturbances 
would persist through the life of the mine, approximately 10 to 15 years. 

The remaining 17,880 acres within the WSA would retain outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation. Visitors to the area would utilize the western half of the WSA where the rugged landscape would 
shield the sights and sounds of the activities taking place within the study area. The scenic, pristine qualities 
of Lime Canyon would be retained within this portion of the WSA. Visitors would have opportunities to view 
wildlife and find isolated places to hike and camp. Hunting would still be a dominant use within the WSA, 
but where hunters used to drive they would now have to walk into the area. Primitive recreational (non- 
motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 60 to 190 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Several special features exist within the WSA. Lime Canyon and Lime Ridge render unique scenic, 
geological and possible cultural values. 

One plant and two animal species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered 
Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. The golden bear poppy (Arctomecon 
California) has been located in an areas along the WSA's eastern boundary road. A gila monster (Heloderma 
Suspectum ) was sighted on Lime Ridge in 1980. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) may occur within the WSA but the closest area categorized as 
desert tortoise habitat is several miles northeast of the WSA. No categorized desert tortoise habitat (I, II 
or III) occurs within the WSA (Map 3-19). 

Lime Canyon, the golden bear poppy and the desert tortoise population would remain protected under this 
alternative. They would receive the added protection afforded from wilderness designation. 

Mining activities projected to occur within the WSA would degrade the geological and scenic values of 
Lime Ridge and could threaten the gila monster. Wilderness designation would reduce impacts by requiring 
tighter restrictions and implementing mitigative measures on authorized surface disturbing activities. 



4-21 



CONCLUSION: Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, and primitive recreation and the special features of the aforementioned 
Category 2 'Threatened and Endangered" species and Lime Canyon that exist within 1 7,880 of the 
WSA's 34,680 acres. Approximately 615 acres within the WSA would be physically disturbed by the 
projected activity associated with authorized mining and unauthorized vehicle use. The scarification 
of topography and the sights and sounds from heavy equipment associated with the mining would 
negatively impact the natural perception, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation, and the scenic features of Lime Ridge within approximately 16,800 acres of the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry. This includes 34,680 acres having 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic mineral resources. 

Two gypsum mines (extensions of mines developed on three patented claims) are projected to occur within 
the WSA. The mining activity would be done in a manner that minimizes impacts to the wilderness resource 
while protecting the rights of the operator. Mitigation measures would be implemented under the All 
Wilderness Alternative, resulting in the reduction of road construction and the placement of auxiliary and 
processing facilities outside the WSA. Mineral development would not be adversely impacted under the All 
Wilderness Alternative. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the WSA. The development of two mines are projected to occur within the 
WSA under the All Wilderness Alternative. As no other mineral exploration or development within 
the WSA is projected, impacts to mineral resources would not occur. 

IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the WSA would be unavailable for the exploration of energy resources. Included are 34,680 
acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. 

CONCLUSION: The exploratory drilling of one oil and gas well projected for the WSA would be 
foregone. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 34,680 acre Lime Canyon WSA to all forms of motorized recreational 
use. Approximately 180 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, motorized 
access for hunting and trapping, and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public land that 
offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 1 80 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The extent (if any) of desert tortoise habitat in the WSA is unknown. Wilderness designation would prevent 
unknowing damage to tortoise habitat. The draft EIS indicated that the western edge of the WSA was 
noncrucial habitat, however, in the more recent (August 1989) categorization of habitat, in response to the 
emergency endangered species listing, no desert tortoise habitat was categorized within the WSA. Future 
more site specific population studies may find this area to be desert tortoise habitat since the known tortoise 
habitat is located a few miles away and the area is below the 4,000 foot tortoise habitat elevational limit. 

CONCLUSION: Tortoise habitat which may exist within the area would be protected by wilderness 
designation. 



4-22 



NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE (NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

All 34,680 acres of public land in the Lime Canyon WSA would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-12). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the No Wilderness Alternative, motorized recreational use would continue along the roads, ways and 
washes located within the WSA. This would include 12.7 miles of existing ways and 1 1 miles of new roads 
projected for mineral and oil and gas exploration and development. Increased accessibility and use within 
the WSA from off-road vehicles would create two-track routes within the area. Repeated use of these tracks 
would remove vegetation and compact soils, disturbing an estimated 40 acres within the WSA. Cross 
country, off-road recreational use is projected to increase from 180 to 260 visits per year within the 
recommended nonsuitable area. 

Surface disturbance associated with the development of two gypsum mines (extensions of mines developed 
on the patented mining claims) would physically disturb an estimated 620 acres within the WSA. The 
blading of 10 miles of new roads, construction of auxiliary facilities and shops and the extraction of minerals 
would result in the removal of vegetation and soils, scarifying the landscape. 

The projected drilling of one exploratory well would take place within the east-central portion of the WSA. 
The projected activity would physically disturb 4.5 acres as vegetation and topsoil are removed during the 
construction of 1 mile of access road and well pads. 

The natural perception within approximately 21 ,765 acres of the WSA would be visually impacted by the 
scarification of the topography, modification of the landform and continuous existence of mechanized 
equipment as a result of the projected mining activities, oil and gas exploration and cross country motorized 
vehicle use. 

The west-central core (approximately 12,915 acres) of the WSA would be protected from surface disturbing 
activities; mineral and energy exploration and development are not projected to occur in this portion and 
the area's rugged terrain restricts the use of motorized vehicles. The natural character of this portion of the 
WSA would be retained under the No Wilderness Alternative. 

The construction of three bighorn sheep water developments within the WSA would have a negligible effect 
on the area's natural character, as the placement and design of each catchment would blend into the 
landscape and only be recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the No Wilderness Alternative, solitude opportunities within the southwestern, northern, and eastern 
portions of the WSA (approximately 21,765 acres) would deteriorate, and in some areas, be lost due to the 
unnatural sights and sounds created by heavy equipment used in projected mineral development and oil 
and gas exploration. Increased motorized vehicle activity would further diminish opportunities for solitude 
as they encroach upon isolated washes, outcrops and other secluded locales. Primitive recreational 
opportunities within this portion of the WSA also would be greatly reduced and in some area's lost to the 
on going activities. The scarification of the scenic landscape would provide a hiker or backpacker fewer 
opportunities to view wildlife, obtain scenic photographs and study the area's geologic formations. In 
addition, these activities would leave few area's for visitors to find interesting or attractive campsites. The 
primary focal point of the area, Lime Ridge, would loose its appeal for visitors, as a result of the projected 
mining. 

Outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be available within the west-central 
portion (approximately 12,915 acres) of the WSA. Lime Canyon, one of the WSA's major focal points, 
would be preserved, as no mineral or energy activities are projected to occur in this area. The canyon and 
rugged landscape of the west-central portion of the WSA would screen many of the sights and sounds of 

4-23 



activities occurring on the public and private lands within the WSA and provide locations for seclusion. 
Opportunities would exist for hikers, backpackers and photographers to observe wildlife and view limited 
scenic vistas and geologic features. 

Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use would continue throughout the entire WSA. This use is projected 
to increase from an estimated 60 to 100 visits annually. 

No new range improvements or recreation developments or facilities are planned in the WSA. Construction 
of three bighorn sheep water developments and the maintenance of the fenceline, developed spring and 
reservoir would not adversely affect wilderness values in the WSA. 

Special Features 

Several special features exist within the WSA. Lime Canyon and Lime Ridge render unique scenic, 
geological and possible cultural values. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), emergency listed in August 1989 as an endangered species, may 
occur within the WSA but the closest area categorized as desert tortoise habitat is several miles northeast 
of the WSA. No categorized desert tortoise habitat (I, II or III) occurs within the WSA (Map 3-19). 

One plant and one animal species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered 
Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. The golden bear poppy (Arctomecon 
California) has been located in an area along the WSA's eastern boundary road. A gila monster (Heloderma 
suspectum ) was sighted on Lime Ridge in 1980. 

Cross country motorized recreational use occurring near the WSA's eastern boundary could negatively 
impact the golden bear poppy. The mineral resource activities projected to occur along Lime Ridge would 
degrade geological and scenic values and could negatively impact the gila monster which has been 
identified to occur within this portion of the WSA. Prior to mineral development, measures would be taken 
to mitigate any surface disturbance so as to protect these special features. 

Cross country motorized recreational use occurring within the western portion of the WSA could negatively 
impact desert tortoise directly and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This activity 
would contribute to a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Gold Butte region. 

CONCLUSION: The sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased cross country 
motorized recreational use, projected mineral development and oil and gas exploration would 
contribute to the loss of wilderness values on 21,765 acres of the WSA. Special features would be 
afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the implementation of future 
management actions. Wilderness values would be retained within the remaining 12,915 acres of the 
WSA as no surface disturbing activities are projected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the Lime Canyon WSA would remain open for mineral entry. All potential mineral resources 
within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. Included are 34,680 acres having 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic mineral resources. The development of two gypsum 
mines is projected within the WSA. There would be no impact on the exploration or development of mineral 
resources. 

CONCLUSION: Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and 
development. The development of two mines for gypsum is projected to occur within the WSA. 
There are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral 
resources. 



4-24 



IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the Lime Canyon WSA would be available for the exploration of energy resources. This 
includes 34,680 acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. 

The exploratory drilling of one well is projected along the WSA's eastern boundary. Production of the well 
is not projected to occur. No other energy exploration is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts on the exploration for energy resources. 

CONCLUSION: Oil and gas resources within the WSA would be available for exploration. The 
drilling of one exploratory well is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected adverse 
impacts on the exploration for energy resources. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA under the No Wilderness Alternative. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 1 80 to 260 visits annually. The majority of the 
use would occur within the eastern and southern portions of the WSA. The WSA provides opportunities for 
motorized hunting and trapping access, off-road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the No Wilderness Alternative. No 
adverse impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The extent (if any) of desert tortoise habitat in the WSA is unknown. The draft EIS indicated that the western 
edge of the WSA was noncrucial habitat, however, in the more recent (August 1989) categorization of 
habitat, in response to the emergency endangered species listing, no desert tortoise habitat was categorized 
within the WSA. Future more site specific population studies may find this area to be desert tortoise habitat 
since the known tortoise habitat is located a few miles away and the area is below the 4,000 foot tortoise 
habitat elevational limit. Motorized uses and mineral exploration in the area could unknowingly impact 
tortoise habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The status of tortoise habitat in the area is unknown. Adverse impacts could 
unknowingly occur until further population studies are conducted. 



4-25 



MILLION HILLS WSA (NV-050-233) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 21 ,296 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-13). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue along the roads, ways and washes 
located within the WSA. This would include 4.8 miles of existing ways and 5.5 miles of new roads 
associated with mineral and energy exploration. Few natural barriers exist within the northern portion of the 
WSA that would restrict motorized vehicle use. In addition, the projected 5.5 miles of new roads associated 
with mineral and energy exploration would increase accessibility for motorized vehicles into the WSA. 
Increased cross country motorized recreational use within the WSA would create two-track routes across 
the area. Repeated use of new and existing tracks would remove vegetation and compact soils, disturbing 
an estimated 35 acres within the WSA. Cross country, off-road recreational use is projected to increase 
from 150 to 215 visits per year within the WSA. 

It is projected that exploration would eventually occur on the existing mining claims located within the 
central portion of the WSA around Azure Mine. Surface disturbance associated with the mineral exploration 
would physically disturb an estimated 6.4 acres within the WSA. The blading of 3 miles of roads, 
construction of drill pads and the trenching for test pits would result in the removal of vegetation and soils, 
scarifying the landscape. The natural landscape of the area would be disrupted by this activity within the 
east- central portion of the WSA. 

The projected drilling of two exploratory wells within the northern portion of the WSA would clear vegetation 
and topsoil for the construction of 2.5 miles of access roads and well pads. Approximately 13.5 acres would 
be physically disturbed due to this activity, resulting in the degradation of the WSA's landscape. 

The natural perception within approximately 12,656 acres of the WSA would be visually impacted by the 
scarification of the topography, modification of the landform and continuous existence of mechanized 
equipment as a result of projected mineral exploration, oil and gas exploration and cross country motorized 
recreational use. 

The south-central portion (approximately 8,640 acres) of the WSA would not be subjected to surface 
disturbing activities. Mineral and energy exploration are not projected to occur in this portion and the area's 
rugged landscape restricts the use of motorized vehicles. The natural character of the core of the WSA 
would be retained under the Proposed Action. 

The construction of three bighorn sheep water developments and an eight mile fence within the WSA would 
have a negligible effect on the area's natural character, as the projects would be designed and placed so 
as to blend in with the surrounding terrain. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, solitude opportunities within the northern three- quarters of the WSA 
(approximately 12,656 acres) would deteriorate and, in some areas, be lost due to the unnatural sights and 
sounds created by heavy equipment used in projected mineral and energy exploration. Increased cross 
country motorized recreational use would further diminish opportunities for solitude as they encroach upon 
isolated washes, drainages, outcrops, and other secluded locales. The gentle topography and limited 
vegetative screening within this portion of the WSA would not provide any screening of the increased 
activities occurring within the area. The increased activity would impair primitive recreational use within this 
portion of the WSA, thus limiting special locales and points of interest where visitors might experience 
viewing and photographing wildlife and scenic vistas. 

4-26 



Outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be available within the south-central 
portion (approximately 8,640 acres) of the WSA. The rugged drainages and peaks and scattering of rock 
outcrops that makeup most of the southern region's landscape would provide numerous secluded areas 
and screen many of the sights and sounds of activities occurring along the boundary roads and near the 
area of mineral activity. Opportunities would exist for hikers, backpackers and photographers to observe 
wildlife and view limited scenic vistas and geologic features. 

Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use would continue throughout the entire WSA. This use is projected 
to increase from an estimated 50 to 90 visits per year. 

The construction and maintenance of three bighorn sheep water developments, three fencelines and two 
developed springs would not adversely affect solitude values in the WSA. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

The mineral exploration activities projected to occur within the WSA would degrade scenic values within 
the northern portion of Azure Ridge. 

CONCLUSION: The sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased cross country 
motorized recreational use, projected mineral and oil and gas exploration would contribute to the 
loss of wilderness values on 12,656 acres of the WSA. Wilderness values are expected to be 
retained within the remaining 8,640 acres of the WSA as no surface disturbing activities are 
anticipated. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the Million Hills WSA would remain open for mineral entry and all potential mineral resources 
would be available for exploration and development. Included are approximately 4,259 acres having 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and 21 ,296 acres having moderate favorability 
for the occurrence of nonmetallic minerals (Map 3-22). 

Eventual exploration of existing claims near the Azure Mine is projected to occur within the central portion 
of the WSA under the Proposed Action. Development is not projected to occur as a result of exploration. 
No other mineral exploration or development is projected within the WSA. No adverse impacts are 
projected. 

CONCLUSION: Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and 
development. The exploration of existing mining claims is projected to occur within the WSA. There 
are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the Million Hills WSA would be available for the exploration of energy resources, Included 
are 21 ,296 acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. The exploratory drilling of 
two wells is projected within the northern portion of the WSA. Production from the wells is not expected to 
occur. No other energy exploration is projected to occur within the WSA. Mitigation measures required to 
protect the desert tortoise (Chapter 2) would impact methods and costs of exploration and development. 

CONCLUSION: Oil and gas resources within the WSA would be available for exploration. The 
drilling of two exploratory wells is projected to occur within the WSA. There are no projected 
adverse impacts on the exploration for oil and gas resources. 



4-27 



IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. The majority of use would occur along the 
western boundary and within the north half of the WSA. The WSA provides opportunities for hunting and 
trapping access, vehicle camping, off-road driving and rockhounding. Motorized recreational use is 
projected to increase from an estimated 150 to 215 visits annually. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would continue and increase under the Proposed 
Action. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 1,800 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but would be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category I tortoise habitat designation (Desert Tortoise Habitat, Map 3-23). Even with 
the implementation of the mitigating measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 20 acres of 
desert tortoise habitat due to exploration for oil and gas and increased cross country motorized recreational 
use. This amounts to a loss of one percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise habitat. While 
replacement habitat could be provided outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss of habitat within 
the WSA would occur. Additionally, fragmentation of the habitat due to new roads would increase the area 
of influence and seriously degrade the ability of tortoises to use the affected area in the future. 

CONCLUSION: 20 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost to projected oil and gas 
exploration activity and increased cross country motorized vehicle use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of wilderness values on 
approximately 12,656 acres and the loss of 20 acres of desert tortoise habitat resulting from increased 
cross country vehicle use, mineral and energy exploration activity. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Motorized recreational 
use and projected mineral and oil and gas exploration would reduce wilderness values and total desert 
tortoise habitat. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected actions would result in the irreversible and irretrievable commitment (loss) of wilderness 
resources on 12,656 acres and Category I desert tortoise habitat in 20 acres because of mining and oil and 
gas exploration and expanded off-road vehicle use. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 21,296 acres of public land in the Million Hills WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-14). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be retained by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
eliminating a projected 215 visits of motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the study 
area. This action would close existing ways and would halt the formation of new two-wheel tracks 
associated with repeated off-road use. 

Range improvements and wildlife developments (fence, bighorn sheep water developments) would be 
designed so as to blend in with the area's natural terrain. These developments would have a negligible 
effect on naturalness. 



4-28 



Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Solitude opportunities within the WSA would be enhanced under the All Wilderness Alternative. Except for 
occasional unauthorized use, motorized recreational vehicles would be eliminated from the WSA. Areas of 
seclusion would be more available to visitors throughout the WSA with the elimination of this use. Secluded 
spots and isolated locales available in Azure Ridge, the Million Hills, and the New Wash area would be 
retained. 

Opportunities to experience primitive types of recreational activities would be enhanced within the WSA. 
Visitors to the area would be more inclined to utilized those vicinities of the WSA near the existing ways 
and the northern region as encounters with motorized vehicles would be reduced. Opportunities to view 
wildlife would be enhanced by the elimination of cross country motorized recreational use. Primitive 
recreational use including hiking, backpacking, primitive camping, nature study and hunting is projected 
to increase from an estimated 50 to 180 visits annually. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements (developed springs, fences) within the WSA would not change. 
Maintenance and construction of projected wildlife developments and range improvements would be done 
by hand. Construction and maintenance of the projects would be completed in short durations and 
maintenance would be conducted less than twice a year. This activity would have a negligible effect on 
solitude. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

Azure Ridge visual resources would receive the added protection afforded from wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, primitive recreation and the scenic features of Azure Ridge. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire 21 ,296 acre Million Hills WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry. Exploration 
and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within the WSA. Included 
are approximately 4,259 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and 
21,296 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic minerals (Map 3-22). 

The exploration for base metals (copper, zinc) on existing claims would not take place due to the weak 
mineralization of the area being unable to support valid claims. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the WSA. Mineral exploration activity on existing claims would not occur due 
to the lack of significant mineralization to support validity examinations. Development of base metal 
resources is not projected to take place. 

IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the WSA would be unavailable for the exploration of energy resources. Included are 21 ,296 
acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. The drilling of two projected oil and 
gas exploratory wells would be not occur. 

CONCLUSION: The exploratory drilling of two oil and gas wells projected for the WSA would be 
foregone. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 21,296 acre Million Hills WSA to all forms of motorized recreational 
use. Approximately 150 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, motorized 



access for hunting, trapping and rockhounding, and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. 
Public land that offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; 
therefore, motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 1 50 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category I desert tortoise habitat by eliminating 
the 20 acre habitat loss projected to occur as a result of oil and gas exploration and increased cross country 
motorized vehicle use. 

CONCLUSION: Designation of the WSA would eliminate the loss of 20 acres and enhance the 
protection of the 1 ,800 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat. 

ALTERNATIVE A (PARTIAL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE) 

Under this alternative, 11,050 acres of public land would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation and 10,246 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-15). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness (Suitable Portion) 

The 11,050 acre area recommended suitable would be closed to motorized recreational use, eliminating 
75 visits of motorized recreational use estimated to occur annually within this portion of the WSA. This 
would improve the naturalness values within those areas of the recommended suitable portion that are 
accessible to motorized vehicles. 

The construction of two bighorn sheep water developments and four miles of fence line within the WSA 
would have a negligible effect on the area's natural character, as the projects would be designed and placed 
so as to blend in with the surrounding terrain. 

Naturalness (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Motorized recreational uses would continue along roads, ways and washes located within the 10,246 acres 
of the WSA recommended as nonsuitable for wilderness designation. This would include 1.8 miles of 
existing ways and 2.5 miles of new roads projected for oil and gas exploration and development. Increased 
accessibility and use within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA by off-road vehicles would create two-track 
routes within the area. Repeated use of these tracks would remove vegetation and compact soils, disturbing 
an estimated 20 acres within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. Cross country, off-road 
recreational use is projected to increase from 75 to 120 visits per year within the recommended nonsuitable 
area. 

The projected drilling of two exploratory wells would take place within the western and northern portion of 
the recommended nonsuitable area. The projected activity would physically disturb 1 3.5 acres as vegetation 
and topsoil are removed during the construction of 2.5 miles of access road and well pads. This 
disturbance would add to further degradation of the area's landscape. 

The natural perception within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA would be visually impacted 
by the scarification of the terrain, modification of the landform and continuous existence of mechanized 
equipment as a result of projected oil and gas exploration and cross country motorized recreational use. 

The construction of one bighorn sheep water development and four miles of fence line within the unsuitable 
portion of the WSA would have a negligible effect on the area's natural character, as the projects would be 
designed and placed so as to blend in with the surrounding terrain. 

4-3U 



Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Suitable Portion) 

Solitude within the suitable portion would benefit by the curtailment of mineral exploration and development. 
There would be a positive effect on solitude and primitive recreation by the closure of the suitable area to 
off-road vehicle use. Only occasional unauthorized use would diminish opportunities for solitude along the 
boundaries. 

The scenic and geologic qualities of Azure Ridge and other portions of the suitable area's rugged landscape 
would be preserved. The area would provide visitors with seclusion, campsites and a variety of locations 
for hunting. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA 
is projected to increase from an estimated 35 to 150 visits annually. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements (developed springs, fences) within the WSA would not change. 
Maintenance and construction of projected wildlife developments and range improvements would be done 
by hand. Construction and maintenance of the projects would be completed in short durations and 
maintenance would be conducted less than twice a year. These activities would have a negligible effect on 
solitude. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Solitude and primitive recreation in the nonsuitable portion of the WSA would be adversely affected by the 
disturbance from heavy equipment use and day to day activities from oil and gas exploration. Off-road 
motorized recreational use would also detract from the feeling of solitude within the nonsuitable area. 

The recommended nonsuitable area would still provide hunters with choice locations for upland game bird 
hunting. Hikers and backpackers would be less likely to frequent the area as few points of interest or scenic 
locales exist within this portion of the WSA. Continued and increasing cross country recreational use would 
make the area even less desireable for these users. Primitive recreational use within this area is projected 
to increase from an estimated 15 to 30 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

The geologic and scenic values of Azure Ridge would be retained under Alternative A. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and 
primitive recreation and the geologically scenic Azure Ridge, would be retained within the 1 1 ,050 
acre area recommended suitable. There would be a loss of wilderness values on the 10,246 acres 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation as continued and increasing cross country 
motorized recreational use and the projected exploration of oil and gas would negatively impact the 
area. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The 11,050 acres of the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of 
mineral entry. Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands 
within the WSA. Included are approximately 1,215 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence 
of metallic minerals and 1 1 ,050 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic minerals 
(Map 3-22). 

The exploration for base metals (copper, zinc) projected to occur without wilderness designation would 
not take place under Alternative A due to the weak mineralization of the area being unable to support valid 
claims. 

All lands within the 10,246 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness would remain open for mineral 

4-31 



entry. Included are approximately 3,044 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic 
minerals and 10,246 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of nonmetallic minerals. All 
potential mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. However, 
exploration and/or development of potential resources within this portion of the WSA is not projected. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Mineral exploration activity 
projected to occur without wilderness designation would not occur due to the lack of valid claims 
if designation occurs. Development of base metal resources is not projected to take place within 
either the recommended suitable or nonsuitable areas. 

IMPACTS ON THE LEVEL OF EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS 

All lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be unavailable for the exploration of 
energy resources. Included are 1 1,050 acres having low favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. 

All lands within the 10,246 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation would remain open 
for energy exploration and development. Included are 10,246 acres having a low favorability for the 
occurrence of energy resources. Potential energy resources within this portion of the WSA would be 
available for exploration. 

The exploratory drilling of two wells is projected within the recommended nonsuitable area. Production 
from the wells is not projected to occur. No other energy exploration is projected to occur within the area. 
There are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration for potential oil and gas resources. Mitigation 
measures required to protect the desert tortoise (Chapter 2) would impact methods and costs of exploration 
and development. 

CONCLUSION: Lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be unavailable 
for energy exploration. However, no oil and gas exploration is projected to occur within this portion 
of the WSA. The drilling of two exploratory wells is projected to occur within the recommended 
nonsuitable area. No adverse impact to oil and gas exploration is projected to occur. Production 
from the wells is not expected. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close 11,050 acres of the WSA recommended suitable to motorized 
recreational use, eliminating approximately 75 visits of motorized recreational use annually. Public land 
offering similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region. Therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone would be absorbed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA and on 
surrounding public lands. The impact of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 
Under Alternative A, motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable portion 
of the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 75 to 120 visits 
annually. The majority of the use would occur within the northern portion of the nonsuitable area, where 
the projected access roads would be constructed. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized hunting 
and trapping access, off-road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 1 1 ,050 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation and approximately 75 visits would be foregone annually. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THE SPECIES DESERT TORTOISE 

The 1 ,800 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but would be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category I tortoise habitat designation (Desert Tortoise Habitat, Map 3-23). Even with 
the implementation of the mitigating measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 20 acres of 
desert tortoise habitat due to exploration for oil and gas and increased cross country motorized recreational 

4-32 



use. This amounts to a loss of one percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise habitat. While 
replacement habitat could be provided outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss of habitat within 
the WSA would occur. Additionally, fragmentation of the habitat due to new roads would increase the area 
of influence and seriously degrade the ability of tortoises to use the affected area in the future. 

CONCLUSION: 20 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost to projected oil and gas 
exploration activity and increased cross country motorized vehicle use. 




4-33 



GARRETT BUTTES WSA (NV-050-235) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 11,835 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-16). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue along the roads, ways and washes 
located within the WSA. This would include 4.9 miles of existing ways. The study area consists of 
numerous wide sandy washes and flat open regions that are readily accessible to vehicles. Very few natural 
barriers within these portions of the WSA restrict motorized vehicle access. Increased cross country 
motorized recreational use within the WSA would adversely impact the natural character of the area by 
creating new trails, compacting soils and vegetation. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase 
from an estimated 180 to 255 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The continued use of motorized vehicles on the existing ways and off-road throughout the WSA would 
diminish solitude opportunities within the WSA. The few secluded locales that exist within the WSA providing 
solitude would become susceptible to increasing motorized recreational vehicle use. 

The ongoing maintenance of existing range improvements and wildlife developments within the WSA would 
detract from the feeling of solitude during the time maintenance was being performed. This is normally of 
short duration and is infrequent (less than twice per year). 

The area would provide less than outstanding opportunities for limited types of primitive recreational 
activities, such as hiking, horseback riding and hunting. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use is 
projected to increase from 50 to 65 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aaassizii ) may occur within the WSA. The population which inhabits the 
Gold Butte geographical area is of the same genetic identity as the Beaver Dam Slope population (Federally 
listed as "Threatened"). The WSA is currently un categorized desert tortoise habitat. (Desert Tortoise 
Habitat, Map 3-27). 

Cross country motorized recreational use occurring within the WSA would negatively impact desert tortoise 
directly and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This activity would contribute to 
a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Gold Butte region. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization of habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
management practices would be adopted, or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and special 
features would be diminished and, in some instances, lost due to the sights, sounds and surface 
disturbances created by continued and the projected increase in motorized recreational use within 
the WSA. Special features would be afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future management actions. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational uses would continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action. Motorized 
recreational uses are projected to increase from an estimated 180 to 255 visits annually. The majority of 

4-34 



the use would occur within the central portion of the WSA. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized 
hunting and trapping access, dirt-biking, off-road driving and limited vehicle camping. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Cross country motorized recreational use occurring within the WSA would negatively impact desert tortoise 
directly and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This activity would contribute to 
a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Gold Butte region. Because motorized vehicle use will 
occur in random unpredictable patterns, no impacted acreage figure is estimated. Monitoring will be used 
to measure impacts on tortoise populations and to indicate when and where control measures are 
warranted. 

CONCLUSION: Dispersed motorized recreational use has the potential for impacting desert tortoise 
and their habitat. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of naturalness values, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and desert tortoise habitat as a result of increased off-road motorized recreational 
use. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Motorized recreational 
use would reduce wilderness values of naturalness and outstanding opportunities for solitude and the values 
of the desert tortoise habitat. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

Motorized recreational use has the potential to create an irreversible and irretrievable commitment of 
wilderness and desert tortoise habitat resources within the WSA. The significance of this potential is directly 
related to the future levels of use which are at present predicted to increase slightly. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 11,835 acres of public land in the Garrett Buttes WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-17). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be retained by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 255 visits of motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the study 
area. This action would close existing ways and would halt the formation of new two-wheel tracks 
associated with repeated off-road use. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Occasional unauthorized off-road vehicle use would detract from the feeling solitude for those visitors close 
to the boundary roads, especially during hunting season. Those portions of the WSA that offer secluded 
and isolated locales would be retained. 

The area would provide less than outstanding opportunities for primitive recreational activities such as 
hiking, horse backriding and hunting. The majority of the use would be hunting. Primitive recreational 
(non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from 50 to 110 visits annually. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements and wildlife developments would not change. This activity 

4-35 



would have a negligible affect on solitude as it would be of a short duration occurring only once or twice 
a year. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) may occur within the WSA. The population which inhabits the 
Gold Butte geographical area is of the same genetic identity as the Beaver Dam Slope population (Federally 
listed as Threatened"). The WSA's is currently uncategorized desert tortoise habitat. (Desert Tortoise 
Habitat, Map 3-27). 

The desert tortoise population would remain protected under this alternative. It would receive the added 
protection afforded from wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of 
desert tortoise. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 1 1 ,835 acre Garrett Butte WSA to all forms of motorized recreational 
use. Approximately 180 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, motorized 
access for hunting and trapping, and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public land that 
offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 180 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The potential for motorized vehicle impacts on tortoises and their habitat would be eliminated through 
closure of the area to vehicle use. 

CONCLUSION: Impacts on desert tortoise due to motorized vehicle use would be eliminated. 



4-36 



QUAIL SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-411) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,145 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-18). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The projected designations of two 1 mile wide utility corridors would allow the development of above and 
below ground utilities and a railroad line extending 6 miles across the WSA. Construction projections within 
a utility corridor of five transmission lines, two gas and two fiber optic lines, and three access roads would 
result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils physically disturbing an estimated 200 acres. 
A transportation corridor would include the construction of a railroad line and associated access routes 
physically disturbing an estimated 65 acres. The placement of towers, transmission and rail lines across the 
landscape would result in a modified landform, detracting from the natural character of the entire area 
because of the open terrain where they are to be constructed. 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA under the Proposed Action. The study area's 
terrain consists primarily of an open alluvial fan, that is readily accessible to motorized vehicles. The 
construction of access roads associated with the projected development of new utilities would increase 
accessibility into the WSA for motorized vehicles. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from 
an estimated 150 to 190 visits annually. Increased cross country vehicle use would create new two-wheel 
tracks across the area's landscape. The repeated use by vehicles across these tracks would remove 
vegetation and compact soils. An estimated 20 acres would be physically disturbed from this use. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, outstanding opportunities for solitude within the WSA would be lost as a result 
of the overwhelming sights and sounds created by the continuing use of heavy equipment for the 
construction and maintenance of the proposed utilities, rail lines and associated roads, and by motorized 
recreational vehicles. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for hiking 
and horseback riding. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 
30 to 40 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) occurs within the WSA. Desert tortoise which inhabit the WSA are 
part of the Las Vegas/Coyote Springs Valley population. The entire WSA is considered Category II desert 
tortoise habitat. 

Construction of utilities, rail lines and associated access roads, and increased cross country vehicle use, 
projected to occur within the WSA would negatively impact the desert tortoise directly and indirectly through 
the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This potential activity would contribute to a decline in the desert 
tortoise population of the Las Vegas Valley. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization of habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
intense management practices would be adopted or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values within the WSA would be negatively impacted under the 
Proposed Action. The projected development of utilities, rail lines, associated access routes, and 

4-37 



increased cross country vehicle use would physically disturb an estimated 285 acres within the WSA. 
The natural perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, 
lines, roads) and rail lines across the landscape. The outstanding opportunities for solitude would 
be lost due to the sights and sounds created by the aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. 
Special features would be afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future management actions. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. This use is projected to increase from an 
estimated 150 to 190 visits annually. The entire WSA provides opportunities for dirt-biking, off-road driving, 
and motorized access for target shooting. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

The 12,145 acre Quail Springs WSA would be available for the development of utilities subject to mitigation 
for the desert tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL LINE 

The 12,145 acre Quail Springs WSA would be available for the development of a rail line within a route 
identified by the Department of Energy subject to mitigation for the desert tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: The development of a projected rail line could occur as a result of the entire WSA 
being recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Construction of utility lines and a railroad would directly eliminate 265 acres of Category II desert tortoise 
habitat. Additional habitat losses are possible depending on the orientation of the two corridors but this is 
not possible to estimate until actual site specific plans are analyzed. 

CONCLUSION: At least 265 acres of Category II desert tortoise habitat will be lost due to utility and 
railroad line construction. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of naturalness and desert tortoise 
habitat from off-road motorized recreational use and the construction of utilities and a rail line within potential 
designated utility and transportation corridors. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Projected increases in 
motorized recreational use and the construction of utility lines and a rail line within a potential utility corridor 
and a transportation corridor would reduce naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and the value 
of the habitat to desert tortoises over the long term. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected construction of utilities and a rail line within potential utility and transportation corridors would 
create an irreversible and irretrievable commitment of wilderness values and 265 acres of Category II desert 

4-38 



tortoise habitat. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,145 acres of public land in the Quail Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-19). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be retained by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 190 visits of motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the study 
area. This action would close existing ways and would halt the formation of new two-wheel tracks 
associated with repeated off-road use. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the central portion of the WSA would be retained. 
Visitors would utilize this portion of the WSA as it offers the best opportunities for horseback riding and 
nature study. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 30 to 60 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii) occurs within the WSA. The entire WSA is considered Category 
II desert tortoise habitat. 

Wilderness designation would enhance the protection of desert tortoise by precluding activities such as the 
development of utilities, a rail line and associated access roads within the WSA. 

CONCLUSION: Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of 
naturalness, outstanding opportunities that exist for solitude, and would enhance the protection of 
desert tortoise. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 12,145 acre Quail Springs WSA to all forms of motorized 
recreational use. Approximately 150 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, 
motorized access for target shooting and dirt-biking, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public land that 
offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 150 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the possible utility route would not become a designated corridor and 
thus would forego the projected construction of above and below ground utilities within the WSA. The 
development of utilities would have to occur along a less desirable route that could be topographically more 
restrictive and or more costly. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL LINE 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the possible rail line route identified by the Department of Energy 
would not become a designated transportation corridor and thus would forego the projected construction 
of a rail line and associated access routes through the WSA. The development of the rail line would have 

4-39 



to occur along a less desirable route that could be topographically more restrictive and an exorbitant 
distance between destination points. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the 
development of a rail line. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The loss of 265 acres of category II habitat would not occur due to closure to motorized vehicles and 
inability to construct utility lines or a railroad due to wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: No loss of desert tortoise habitat. 




4-40 



EL DORADO WSA (NV-050-423) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,290 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-20). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. The WSA's western 
and northern portions consist of wide sandy washes and bajadas that are readily accessible to vehicles. 
Few natural barriers exist within these regions that would restrict motorized vehicle use. In addition, the 
projected 6 miles of new roads associated with mineral exploration and utility line construction and 
maintenance would increase accessibility for motorized vehicles into the WSA. Increased cross country 
motorized recreational use within the WSA would create two-track routes across the terrain. Repeated use 
of new and existing tracks would remove vegetation and compact soils, disturbing an estimated 90 acres 
within the WSA. Cross country, off-road recreational use is projected to increase from 550 to 720 visits per 
year within the WSA. 

It is projected that exploration would eventually occur on existing mining claims located within the southeast 
and northwest portions of the WSA, under nondesignation. Exploration efforts within the WSA would be 
conducted to define the extent of mineralization of the El Dorado Mining District, which lies adjacent to the 
area's southern boundary. 

Surface disturbance associated with projected mineral exploration within the WSA's northwest region would 
physically disturb an estimated 9.2 acres. The blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of two pilot plants, 
drilling and trenching of an estimated 217 test pits would result in the removal of vegetation and soils, 
scarifying the area's natural terrain. 

Exploration activities within the southeast portion of the WSA would physically disturb an estimated 1 1 .7 
acres. Projected exploration would involve the blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of two pilot plants 
and the drilling and trenching of approximately 290 test pits. Scarified topography would result from this 
activity. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above and below 
ground utilities across the WSA's extreme southern tip. Construction projections of five transmission lines, 
one gas and one fiber optic line, and two access roads would result in the removal of vegetation and the 
disruption of soils. This activity would physically disturb an estimated 85 acres within the WSA. The 
placement of towers and transmission lines across the landscape would result in a modified landform, 
detracting from the natural character of the WSA's entire southern face. 

Approximately one-half of an acre would be disturbed with the projected construction of a .25 mile access 
route into the undeveloped parcel of patented land located within the southeast portion of the WSA. 

The placement of signs and construction of a short trail would implement a portion of the proposed 
interpretative program for Gregory's Arch. These activities would have a negligible impact on the natural 
character of the WSA. 

The natural perception within approximately 6,600 acres of the WSA would be visually impacted by the 
scarification of the topography, modification of the landform and continuous existence of mechanized 
equipment as a result of projected mineral exploration, construction and maintenance of utilities and access 
routes, and increased cross country motorized recreational use. 



4-41 



The central-core region of the WSA would be protected from surface disturbing activities; mineral exploration 
and development of utilities is not projected to occur in this area and the rugged landscape restricts the use 
of motorized vehicles. The natural character of the core of the WSA would be retained under the Proposed 
Action. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, solitude opportunities within the southern, western and northern portions of 
the WSA (approximately 6,600 acres) of the WSA would deteriorate and, in some areas, be lost due to the 
annoying sights and sounds created by heavy equipment use in projected mineral exploration and in the 
construction and maintenance of new utility lines. Increased cross country motorized recreational activity 
would also diminish opportunities for solitude. These activities would encroach upon portions of the WSA 
which provide seclusion and isolated locales. Outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the 
WSA's central-core, approximately 5,690 acres, would be retained. The rugged landscape within this portion 
of the WSA provides sufficient screening to block outside sights and sounds and areas which offer isolated 
or secluded locales. 

Outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation would also be lost within the 6,600 acres of the WSA due 
to the aforementioned activities. The deterioration of the landscape and constant visual contact of 
motorized vehicles would provide a hiker or backpacker few opportunities to obtain scenic photographs, 
view wildlife and find secluded campsites within this portion of the WSA. The WSA's central-core would 
provide hikers and backpackers two destination points, Gregory's Arch and Oak Creek Canyon, where 
visitors could find campsites, observe wildlife and photograph scenic landscapes. Outstanding opportunities 
for primitive recreation would be retained within this portion of the WSA, as surface disturbing activities are 
not projected to occur and cross country vehicle use would be restricted by the area's rugged terrain. 
Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 70 to 
110 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Several special features exist within the WSA. Gregory's Arch (a natural sandstone arch) renders unique 
scenic, geological and possible cultural values. Two plant species, currently listed on the "Federal Register 
of Threatened and Endangered Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. Two 
varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp .. bicolor and roseus ) occur within the extreme southwestern 
corner of the WSA. The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ), currently emergency listed as an endangered 
species, inhabits the western boundary of the WSA. Approximately 22 percent of the WSA (northwestern 
portion) is considered Category III desert tortoise habitat. 

It is anticipated that the desert tortoise, plants and Gregory's Arch would remain protected as their identified 
locations are not within the immediate vicinity of any projected surface disturbing activities. 

Increases in motorized recreational use projected for the WSA would negatively impact desert tortoise 
directly and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This potential activity would 
contribute to a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Eldorado Valley region. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization of the habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
management practices would be adopted, or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and 
primitive recreation that exist within 6,600 acres of the WSA would be diminished and, in some 
instances, lost. The sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased motorized 
recreational use, projected mineral exploration and utility construction and maintenance would 
adversely impact wilderness values. The desert tortoise would be afforded some protection through 
mitigative measures and the implementation of future management actions. Wilderness values 

4-42 



would be retained within the remaining 5,690 acres of the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the El Dorado WSA would remain open for mineral entry. All potential mineral resources 
within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. Included are 12,290 acres having low 
favorability for the occurrence of metallic, nonmetallic and salable minerals and moderate favorability for the 
occurrence of uranium (Maps 3-33 and 3-34). 

Eventual exploration for precious metals is projected to occur within the northwest and southeast portions 
of the WSA under the Proposed Action. Development is not projected to occur as a result of exploration. 
No other mineral exploration or development is projected within the WSA. No adverse impacts are 
expected. 

CONCLUSION: Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and 
development. The exploration of existing mining claims is projected to occur within the WSA. There 
are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. The majority of use would occur within the 
western half of the WSA. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized access for hunting and trapping, 
vehicle camping, off-road driving and spectator and non-spectator off-road vehicle events. Motorized 
recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 550 to 720 visits annually. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON RECREATIONAL MANAGEMENT 

The development of a recreational interpretive program for Gregory's Arch, consisting of interpretative signs 
and a short access trail would be implemented, as designated in the Clark County Management Framework 
Plan (MFP). No adverse impacts are projected under this alternative. 

CONCLUSION: The development of an interpretive recreational program would benefit as a result 
of the entire WSA being recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts 
to this use are expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

The 12,290 acre El Dorado WSA would be available for the development of utilities within a possible 1 mile 
wide designated utility corridor. This would allow the projected construction of both above and below 
ground utilities. 

CONCLUSION: The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

None of the projected surface disturbing activities are located in the 2,700 acres of desert tortoise habitat 
in the extreme western portion of the WSA. Dispersed (random) motorized vehicle use could impact the 
tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Impacts from dispersed motorized vehicle use are possible. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of wilderness values from off- 
road motorized recreational use, mineral exploration and the construction of utility lines within a proposed 

4-43 



designated utility corridor. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Motorized recreational 
use, mineral exploration and the construction of utility lines within an established utility corridor would 
reduce the wilderness values over the long term. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected construction of utility lines within a proposed designated utility corridor would create an 
irreversible and irretrievable commitment of the wilderness values. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,290 acres of public land in the El Dorado WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-21). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be enhanced by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 720 visits of cross country, off-road and competitive motorized recreational use from 
occurring annually within the study area. A positive effect on naturalness would occur by the closure of the 
WSA to motorized vehicles, thus eliminating 470 visits of motorized recreational use estimated to occur 
annually within the study area. This action would close existing ways and would halt the formation of new 
competitive race courses and two-wheel tracks. 

The private land owners are projected to exercise their rights of access to their 120 acre patented mining 
claim located within the southeast corner of the WSA. Construction of a projected .25 mile of road across 
the WSA would physically disturb one half acre of ground by the blading of the landscape. This disturbance 
would be visible from the southeast corner of the WSA, and would not adversely affect the overall natural 
perception of the area. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Solitude opportunities within the WSA would be enhanced under the All Wilderness Alternative. Except for 
occasional unauthorized use, motorized recreational vehicles would be eliminated from the WSA. This would 
extend the geographical area within the WSA where visitors would be able to find secluded areas. However, 
the periphery of the WSA would still not provide opportunities for solitude as the open terrain does not 
screen the sights and sounds of uses occurring along the boundaries. Visitors to the area would be inclined 
to mostly utilize the central-core of the WSA where the rugged landscape would shield the sights and 
sounds of the unauthorized off-road vehicle use. The pristine and scenic qualities of the Gregory's Arch 
area, Oak Creek and Lonesome Canyons would be retained. 

Opportunities to experience primitive types of recreational activities would be enhanced within the WSA, 
by the closure to motorized recreational use. Visitors to the area would be more inclined to utilized the 
large sandy washes closer to the WSA's western border. Opportunities to view wildlife would be enhanced 
by the elimination of cross country motorized recreational use. Although hunters and rock hounders would 
be mechanically cut-off from the WSA, they would be able to actively pursue these activities by foot under 
wilderness designation. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase 
from an estimated 70 to 220 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Several special features exist within the WSA. Gregory's Arch (a natural sandstone arch) renders unique 
scenic, geological and possible cultural values. Two plant species, currently listed on the "Federal Register 
of Threatened and Endangered Species" as Category 2 (Watch), have been identified within the WSA. Two 
varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp .. bicolor and roseus) occur within the extreme southwestern 

4—44 



corner of the WSA. The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ), currently emergency listed as an endangered 
species, inhabits the western boundary of the WSA. Approximately 22 percent of the WSA (northwestern 
portion) is considered Category III desert tortoise habitat. 

These special features would remain protected under this alternative. They would receive the added 
protection afforded from wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, and primitive recreation and the identified special features that exist within 
12,257 of the WSA's 12,290 acres. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire 12,290 acre El Dorado WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry. Exploration 
and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within the WSA. Included 
are approximately 12,290 acres having low favorability for the occurrence of metallic, nonmetallicand salable 
minerals and moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium (Maps 3-33 and 3-34). 

The exploration for precious metals (gold, silver) projected to occur without wilderness designation would 
not take place under the All Wilderness Alternative due to the area being unable to support valid claims. 
This is projected due to the area's low mineral favorability rating and the lack of mines, prospecting and 
outcroppings to support the linear type of mineralization that occurs within the mining district. Development 
of precious metal resources is not projected to take place within the WSA. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the WSA. Mineral exploration activity projected to occur without wilderness 
designation would not take place due to the lack of valid claims if designation occurs. Development 
of precious metal resources is not projected to take place. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 12,290 acre El Dorado WSA to all forms of motorized recreational 
use. Approximately 550 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving, motorized 
access for hunting, motorized nonspectator events, and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the 
WSA. Public land that offers similar opportunities for off-road driving, hunting access and vehicle camping 
is located throughout the region; therefore, this type of motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA 
would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. Wilderness designation however would reduce the area 
within the El Dorado Valley region available for competitive nonspectator motorcycle events (Clark County 
Management Framework Plan ORV Designations). Under the All Wilderness Alternative, competitive 
motorcycle events would be diverted to less desirable and more restrictive race routes on adjacent public 
lands. The adverse impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 550 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
Less desirable race routes would be utilized on adjacent public lands for competitive motorcycle 
events. The adverse impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

IMPACTS ON RECREATIONAL MANAGEMENT 

The proposed interpretive program for Gregory's Arch could not be fully implemented under the All 
Wilderness Alternative as interpretive signing could be precluded from the wilderness. However, signs 
could be posted in close proximities outside of the wilderness. The development of a trail to Gregory's 
Arch would be implemented. This would primarily consist of the clearing of brush along a path that would 
blend in with the contour of the landscape. The interpretive program would not be adversely affected by 
designation of the WSA for wilderness. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed interpretive program could not be fully implemented under the All 
Wilderness Alternative as interpretive signing would be precluded. Designation of the WSA as 

4-45 



wilderness would not adversely affect this program. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the possible utility route identified by potential users would not become 
a designated corridor and thus would forego the projected construction of above and below ground utilities. 
The development of utilities would have to occur along a less desirable route that could be topographically 
more restrictive, a greater distance to the identified point of destination, and be prohibitively costly. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. Less desirable routes would be utilized by potential utility users. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Desert tortoise would receive added protection due to the area being designated as wilderness. 

CONCLUSION: Added protection of desert tortoise habitat due to elimination on motorized vehicle 
use. 

ALTERNATIVE A (PARTIAL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE) 

Under this alternative, 9,570 acres of public land would be recommended suitable for wilderness designation 

and 2,720 acres of public land would be recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-22). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness (Suitable Portion) 

The 9,570 acre area recommended suitable would be closed to motorized recreational use, eliminating 280 
visits of motorized recreational use estimated to occur annually within this portion of the WSA. This would 
improve the naturalness values within those areas of the recommended suitable portion that are accessible 
to motorized vehicles. 

The perception of naturalness within the southeastern and northwestern portions of the recommended 
suitable area (approximately 400 acres) would be negatively impacted by the mineral activity and 
development of utilities projected to occur on adjacent nonsuitable lands. These activities would diminish 
the scenic qualities within portions of the suitable area. 

The private land owners are projected to exercise their access rights to their 120 acre patented mining 
claim located within the southeast corner of the WSA. Construction of a projected .25 mile of road across 
the WSA would physically disturb one half acre of ground by the blading of the landscape. This disturbance 
would be visible from the southeast corner of the WSA, and would not adversely affect the overall natural 
perception of the suitable area. 

Naturalness (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Under Alternative A, motorized recreational use would continue within the 2,720 acres of the WSA 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. This would include 3.5 miles of new roads projected 
for mineral exploration. As most of the terrain within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA is conducive to 
motorized types of recreational use, naturalness values that presently exist would diminish within the area 
due to increased activity. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 270 to 520 
visits annually. 

Surface disturbance associated with the exploration of minerals within the northern and southern portions 
of the nonsuitable area, would physically disturb an estimated 1 1 .4 acres. The blading of 3.5 miles of new 
roads, the construction of two pilot plants, and the trenching of an estimated 282 test pits would result in 
the removal of vegetation and soils, scarifying the terrain. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above and below 
ground utilities across the nonsuitable area's extreme southern tip. Construction projections of two 

4-46 



transmission lines, one gas and one fiber optic line, and one access road would result in the removal of 
vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would physically disturb an estimated 25 acres within 
the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines across the landscape would result in a modified 
landform, detracting from the natural character of the nonsuitable area's entire southern face. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Suitable Portion) 

Outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be available within the recommended 
suitable portion of the WSA. These values however, would be diminished along the western and southern 
borders (approximately 600 acres) as a result of the noise and visual disturbance from unauthorized off- 
road motorized recreational use and mineral activity, construction and maintenance of utility lines projected 
to occur on adjacent public lands. 

The scenic, botanical and geologic qualities of Lonesome and Oak Creek Canyons and the area's rugged 
eastern landscape would be preserved. This terrain would also provide visitors with areas of seclusion, 
scenic camp sites, as well as opportunities to view wildlife and study unusual geologic features. Hikers and 
backpackers would be able to enjoy a quality one and two day hike within the area. Primitive recreational 
(non-motorized) use within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 55 to 190 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Nonsuitable Portion) 

The noise and visual disturbance created by off-road motorized recreational users, projected development 
and maintenance of utilities and mineral exploration activities, i.e. heavy equipment use, would destroy 
outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation available within the recommended nonsuitable 
area. These activities would reduce and, in some instances, eliminate areas that provide opportunities for 
seclusion and solitude. 

The physical scars left on the landscape as a result of projected exploration efforts and utility development 
would void the area of any scenic or photographic qualities. The nonsuitable portion would provide hikers 
and backpackers with limited primitive recreational opportunities. Primitive recreational use within this area 
is projected to increase from an estimated 15 to 25 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Wilderness designation of the recommended suitable area would enhance the protection and preservation 
of Gregory's Arch (a natural rock arch) and the two varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp „ bicolor 
and roseus ), Category 2 (Watch) species listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered 
Species". 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) occurs within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. 
Increasing motorized recreational use projected for the WSA would negatively impact desert tortoise directly 
and indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This potential activity would contribute 
to a decline in the desert tortoise population of the Eldorado Valley region. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization of the habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
management practices would be adopted, or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and 
primitive recreation, the two varieties of penstemon and the special geological value of Gregory's 
Arch would be retained within an estimated 8,970 of the 9,570 acres of the recommended suitable 
area. Wilderness values on the remaining 600 acres of the suitable portion would be diminished 
and, in some instances lost, as a result of unauthorized off-road motorized vehicle use, mineral 
exploration and utility line construction and maintenance projected to occur on adjacent public 
lands. Wilderness values would be lost on the 2,720 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 



designation as continued and increased cross country motorized vehicle use, projected mineral 
exploration and construction of utilities would adversely impact the area. The desert tortoise would 
be afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the implementation of future 
management actions. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The 9,570 acres of the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of 
mineral entry. Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed 
lands. Included are all the lands within the area having low favorability for the occurrence of metallic, 
nonmetallic and salable minerals and those having moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium 
(Maps 3-33 and 3-34). 

The exploration for precious metals (gold, silver) projected to occur without wilderness designation would 
not take place under Alternative A as mineralization of the area is not expected to support valid claims. With 
or without wilderness designation, actual development of precious metal resources is not projected to take 
place within the recommended suitable area. 

All lands within the 2,720 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness would remain open for mineral 
entry. Included are all the lands within the area having low favorability for the occurrence of metallic, 
nonmetallic and salable minerals and those having moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium. 
All potential mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. 

Eventual exploration of existing claims for precious metals is projected to occur within the northwest and 
southeast portions of the recommended nonsuitable area under Alternative A. Development is not projected 
to occur as a result of exploration. No other mineral exploration or development is projected within the 
WSA. No adverse impacts are expected. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Mineral exploration activity 
projected to occur without wilderness designation would not take place due to lack of valid claims 
if designation occurs. Exploration of existing mining claims is projected within the recommended 
nonsuitable portion of the WSA. There are no projected adverse impacts on the exploration of 
mineral resources within this area. Development of precious metal resources is not projected to 
take place within either the recommended suitable or nonsuitable areas. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close 9,570 acres of the WSA recommended suitable to motorized 
recreational use, eliminating approximately 280 visits of motorized recreational use annually. Public land 
offering similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, some 
motorized recreational use foregone would be absorbed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA and on 
surrounding public lands. Wilderness designation however would reduce the area within the El Dorado 
Valley region available for competitive nonspectator motorcycle events (Clark County Management 
Framework Plan ORV Designations). Under Alternative A, competitive motorcycle events would be diverted 
to less desirable and more restrictive race routes on adjacent public lands. The adverse impacts of shifting 
this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the 2,720 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation. Terrain within this portion of the WSA is primarily conducive to motorized types of recreational 
activities, including dirt biking, hunting and trapping access and cross country non-spectator motorized 
events. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 270 to 520 visits annually. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 9,570 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation and approximately 280 visits would be foregone annually. Less 
desirable race routes would be utilized on adjacent public lands for competitive motorcycle events. 

4-48 



The adverse impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be marginal. 

IMPACTS ON RECREATIONAL MANAGEMENT 

The proposed interpretative program for Gregory's Arch could not be fully implemented under Alternative 
A as interpretative signing would be precluded from the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. 
However, signs could be posted in close proximities outside of the area. The development of a trail to 
Gregory's Arch would be implemented. This would primarily consist of the clearing of brush along a path 
that would blend in with the contour of the landscape. The interpretative program would not be adversely 
affected by designation of the WSA for wilderness. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed interpretative program could not be fully implemented under 
Alternative A as interpretative signing would be precluded. Designation of the recommended 
suitable area as wilderness would not adversely affect this program. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

Under Alternative A, the possible utility route identified by potential users through the recommended suitable 
portion would not become a designated corridor and thus would forego the projected construction of above 
and below ground utilities. The proposed development could however, occur along that portion of the 
identified route located within the recommended nonsuitable area. Preclusion of potential utility 
development from the suitable area could mean the identification of a less desirable and more restrictive 
route. 

CONCLUSION: Under Alternative A the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be 
unavailable for the development of utilities. Less desireable routes would be utilized by potential 
utility users. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

None of the projected surface disturbing activities are located in the 2,700 acres of desert tortoise habitat 
in the extreme western portion of the WSA. Dispersed (random) motorized vehicle use could impact the 
tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Impacts from dispersed motorized vehicle use are possible. 








4-49 



IRETEBA PEAKS WSA (NV-050-438) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 14,994 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-23). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. The WSA's 
southern area consists of wide sandy washes and bajadas that are readily accessible to vehicles. In 
addition, the new roads associated with projected mineral exploration and utility line construction would 
increase accessibility for motorized vehicles into the WSA's northern and southern regions. Increased cross 
country motorized recreational use within the WSA would create two-track routes across the terrain. 
Repeated use of new and existing tracks would remove vegetation and compact soils, disturbing an 
estimated 15 acres within the WSA. Cross country, off-road recreational use is projected to increase from 
65 to 130 visits per year within the WSA. 

It is projected that exploration for precious metals would eventually occur within the southern and northern 
portions of the WSA. Exploration efforts within the WSA would be conducted to define the extent of 
mineralization of the El Dorado and Search Light Mining Districts which lie adjacent to the area's northern 
and southern boundaries. 

Surface disturbance associated with projected mineral exploration within the WSA's northern portion would 
physically disturb an estimated 19.7 acres. The blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of two pilot plants, 
drilling and trenching of an estimated 290 test pits would result in the removal of vegetation and soils, 
scarifying the area's natural terrain. 

Exploration activities within the southern portion of the WSA would physically disturb an estimated 26.2 
acres. Projected exploration would involve the blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of three pilot plants 
and the drilling and trenching of approximately 350 test pits. Scars created by heavy equipment blading the 
roads and digging trenches would physically disrupt the landscape of the southeast portion of the study 
area. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above ground 
utilities across the WSA's extreme northern end. Construction projections of a transmission line and access 
road would result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would physically 
disturb an estimated 25 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines across the 
landscape would result in a modified landform of the WSA's northern region. 

Actual surface disturbance within the WSA from the projected activities would be an estimated 86 acres. 
However, the natural character within approximately 3,900 acres of the WSA would be reduced and, in 
some areas, be lost, as a result of increased motorized vehicle use, projected construction of utilities and 
associated access routes and mineral exploration. 

The central-core region of the WSA would be protected from surface disturbing activities; mineral exploration 
and development of utilities are not projected to occur in this portion and the area's rugged landscape 
restricts the use of motorized vehicles. The natural character of the core of the WSA would be retained 
under the Proposed Action. 

Two springs would be developed within the northeast portion of the WSA. The use of a backhoe would 
have both short-term and long-term effects on naturalness in the vicinity of the spring because of surface 
disturbance. Vegetation would become re-established two or three years after development. Disturbance 
would eventually be substantially unnoticeable near the spring. The troughs associated with the spring 



4-50 



would not detract from the study area's natural quality. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, solitude opportunities within the southern and northern portions of the WSA 
(approximately 4,800 acres) of the WSA would deteriorate and, in some areas, be lost due to the annoying 
sights and sounds created by heavy equipment use in projected mineral exploration and in the construction 
and maintenance of new utility lines. Increased motorized vehicle activity would also diminish opportunities 
for solitude and primitive recreation. The deterioration of the landscape and constant visual contact of 
motorized vehicles would provide a hiker or backpacker few opportunities to obtain scenic photographs, 
view wildlife and fined secluded campsites within these areas. 

Outstanding opportunities for solitude and less than outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation would 
be available within the central-core (approximately 10,194 acres) of the WSA. This area's rocky terrain, 
consisting of large granitic boulders and numerous rock lined drainages, provides screening and numerous 
secluded locales. Portions of the central region would provide visitors with scenic views of Lake Mead and 
opportunities to hunt upland game birds and bighorn sheep. Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use 
within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 50 to 80 visits annually. 

The construction and maintenance of the proposed range improvements would have a negligible effect on 
solitude values within the WSA. Construction and maintenance would be done primarily by hand with only 
occasional use of mechanized equipment. Construction of the projects would be completed in short 
durations and maintenance would be conducted once a year. 

Special Features 

Two plant species, currently listed on the "Federal Register of Threatened and Endangered Species" as 
Category 2 (Watch), occur within the WSA. Two varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp .. bicolor 
and roseus ) have been identified along the western side of Ireteba ridge. It is anticipated that the plants 
would remain protected as their identified locations are not within the immediate vicinity of any projected 
surface disturbing activities. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aaassizii) inhabits the southern boundary of the WSA. The area is considered 
Category II desert tortoise habitat. 

Increases in motorized recreational use and the construction of access routes for mineral exploration are 
projected for the area. This surface disturbing activity would negatively impact desert tortoise directly and 
indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This potential activity would contribute to a 
decline in the desert tortoise population of the Eldorado Valley region. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization of habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
management practices would be adopted, or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, and any outstanding opportunities for solitude 
that exist within 4,800 acres of the WSA would be diminished and, in some instances, lost. The 
sights, sounds and surface disturbances created by increased motorized recreational use, projected 
mineral exploration and utility construction and maintenance would negatively impact wilderness 
values. Desert tortoise would be afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the 
implementation of future management actions. Wilderness values would be retained within the 
remaining 10,194 acres of the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

All lands within the Ireteba Peaks WSA would remain open for mineral entry. All potential mineral resources 
within the WSA would be available for exploration and development. Included are 900 acres having 

4-51 



moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and 14,994 acres having moderate favorability 
for the occurrence of uranium (Maps 3-37 and 3-38). 

Eventual exploration for precious metals is projected to occur within the northern and southern portions of 
the WSA under the Proposed Action. Development is not projected to occur as a result of exploration. No 
other mineral exploration or development is projected within the WSA. No adverse impacts are expected. 

CONCLUSION: Mineral resources within the WSA would be available for exploration and 
development. The exploration for precious metals is projected to occur within the WSA. There are 
no projected adverse impacts on the exploration for and development of mineral resources. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use would continue within the WSA. The majority of use would occur within the 
western half of the WSA. The WSA provides opportunities for motorized access for hunting and trapping 
and off-road driving. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 65 to 130 visits 
annually. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

The 14,994 acre Ireteba Peaks WSA would be available for the development of utilities within a route, 
identified by potential users, for a possible 1 mile wide designated utility corridor. This would allow the 
projected construction of a 500 kv transmission line and access route. 

CONCLUSION: The development of utilities could occur as a result of the entire WSA being 
recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation. No adverse impacts to these uses are 
expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Projected mineral development and vehicle use in the southern portion of the WSA would cause the loss 
of approximately 30 acres of Category II habitat. 

CONCLUSION: Loss of thirty acres of habitat due to mineral exploration and motorized vehicle use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of wilderness values and desert 
tortoise habitat from off-road motorized recreational use, mineral exploration and the construction of utility 
transmission lines within a projected designated utility corridor. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Motorized recreational 
use, mineral exploration and the construction of utility transmission lines within an established utility corridor 
would reduce the wilderness values over the long-term. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected construction of utility transmission lines within a projected designated utility corridor would 
create an irreversible and irretrievable commitment of the wilderness values. Loss of desert tortoise habitat 
due to mineral exploration would also be an irreversible and irretrievable commitment. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 14,994 acres of public land in the Ireteba Peaks WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-24). 

4-52 



IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be retained by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, thus 
preventing a projected 130 visits of cross country, off-road motorized recreational use from occurring 
annually within the study area. This action would close existing ways and halt the formation of new two- 
wheel tracks associated with repeated off-road use. 

Two springs would be developed within the northeast portion of the WSA. Minor surface disturbance 
resulting during development would have a negligible short-term effect on naturalness in the immediate 
vicinity of the springs due to vegetation disturbance. The presence of the spring would not detract from 
the area's natural character as vegetation would reestablish over time and the small troughs would be 
camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding landscape. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Solitude opportunities within the WSA would be enhanced under the All Wilderness Alternative. Except for 
occasional unauthorized use, motorized recreational vehicles would be eliminated from the WSA. This would 
extend the geographical area within the WSA where visitors would be able to find secluded areas. Visitors 
to the area would be inclined to utilize the central-core of the WSA where the rugged landscape would shield 
the sights and sounds of the unauthorized off-road vehicle use. The pristine qualities of the WSA would be 
retained. 

Opportunities to experience primitive types of recreational activities would be enhanced within the WSA, 
but would remain less than outstanding, by the closure to motorized recreational use. Hikers and 
backpackers would be inclined to utilize the high serrated ridgeline where views of Lake Mead are best and 
trees are available for cover. Although hunters and rock hounders would be mechanically cut-off from the 
WSA, they would be able to actively pursue these activities by foot under wilderness designation. Primitive 
recreational (non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 50 to 150 visits 
annually. 

The construction and maintenance of two developed springs within the eastern portion of the WSA would 
not detract from the opportunities for solitude. Construction and maintenance of the springs would be 
conducted by hand and in short durations. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ) and the two varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp .. bicolor 
and roseus) would receive additional protection under this alternative. They would receive the added 
protection afforded from wilderness designation. 

CONCLUSION: Designation would preserve wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding 
opportunities for solitude, and the special features of desert tortoise and sensitive plants that exist 
within the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The entire 14,994 acre Ireteba Peaks WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of mineral entry. Exploration 
and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed lands within the WSA. Included 
are 900 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and 14,994 acres having 
moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium (Maps 3-37 & 3-38). 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the WSA. Development of precious metal resources is not projected to take 
place. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 14,994 acre Ireteba Peaks WSA to all forms of motorized 

4-53 



recreational use. Approximately 65 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving 
and motorized access for hunting and trapping. Public land that offers similar opportunities for motorized 
recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA 
would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands 
would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 65 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the possible utility route identified by potential users would not become 
a designated corridor and thus would forego the projected construction of a transmission line and access 
route. The development of utilities would have to occur along a less desirable route that could be restricted 
due to distance and prohibitive costs. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, the WSA would be unavailable for the 
development of utilities. Less desirable routes would be utilized by potential utility users. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Desert tortoise would receive additional protection due to the closure of the area to motorized vehicle use 
and withdrawal from mineral entry. The loss of thirty acres of habitat would not occur. 

CONCLUSION: Increased protection of tortoise habitat and no loss of habitat due to mining or 
vehicle use. 

ALTERNATIVE A (PARTIAL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE) 

Under this alternative, 10,155 acres would be recommended suitable for wilderness designation and 4,839 
acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness designation (Map 2-25). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness (Suitable Portion) 

The 10,155 acre area recommended suitable would be closed to motorized recreational use, eliminating 
15 visits of motorized recreational use estimated to occur annually within this portion of the WSA. This 
would improve the naturalness values within those areas of the recommended suitable portion that are 
accessible to motorized vehicles. 

Two springs would be developed within the northeast portion of the recommended suitable portion of the 
WSA. Minor surface disturbance resulting during development would have a negligible short-term effect on 
naturalness in the immediate vicinity of the springs due to vegetation disturbance. The presence of the 
spring would not detract from the area's natural character as vegetation would reestablish over time and the 
small troughs would be camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding landscape. 

Naturalness (Nonsuitable Portion) 

Under Alternative A, motorized recreational use would continue within the recommended nonsuitable portion 
of the WSA. Increased cross country motorized recreational use within the WSA would create two-track 
routes across the terrain. Repeated use of new and existing tracks would remove vegetation and compact 
soils, disturbing an estimated 12 acres within the WSA. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase 
from an estimated 50 to 1 15 visits annually. 

It is projected that exploration for precious metals would eventually occur within the southern and northern 
portions of the recommended nonsuitable area. Exploration efforts within the WSA would be conducted to 
define the extent of mineralization of the El Dorado and Search Light Mining Districts, which lie adjacent to 
the area's northern and southern boundaries. 



4-54 



Surface disturbance associated with projected mineral exploration within the nonsuitable area's northern 
region would physically disturb an estimated 19.7 acres. The blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of 
two pilot plants, drilling and trenching of an estimated 290 test pits would result in the removal of vegetation 
and soils, scarifying the area's natural terrain. 

Exploration activities within the southern portion of the nonsuitable area would physically disturb an 
estimated 26.2 acres. Projected exploration would involve the blading of 3 miles of roads, construction of 
three pilot plants and the drilling and trenching of approximately 350 test pits. Scars created by heavy 
equipment blading the roads and digging trenches would physically disrupt the landscape of the southeast 
portion of the study area. 

The projected designation of a 1 mile wide utility corridor would allow the development of above ground 
utilities across the nonsuitable area's northern region. Construction projections of a transmission line and 
access road would result in the removal of vegetation and the disruption of soils. This activity would 
physically disturb an estimated 25 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers and transmission lines 
across the landscape would result in a modified landform of the WSA's northern region. 

Actual surface disturbance within the WSA from the projected activities would be an estimated 83 acres. 
However, the natural character of the recommended nonsuitable area would be reduced and, in some 
areas, be lost, as a result of increased motorized vehicle use, projected construction of utilities and 
associated access routes and mineral exploration. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Suitable Portion) 

Outstanding opportunities for solitude and less than outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation would 
be retained within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. This area's rocky terrain provides 
excellent screening to block out activities occurring on the adjacent public lands. The large granitic 
boulders and rocky outcrops which makeup the area's terrain provides numerous secluded areas. 

The pristine landscape would provide hunters and backpackers scenic overviews of Lake Mead. Portions 
of the central region would provide visitors with opportunities to hunt upland game birds and bighorn sheep. 
Primitive recreational (non-motorized) use within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA is projected 
to increase from 30 to 1 1 visits annually. 

The construction and maintenance of two developed springs within the eastern portion of the recommended 
suitable area would not detract from the opportunities for solitude. Construction and maintenance of the 
springs would be conducted by hand and in short durations. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation (Nonsuitable Portion) 

The noise and visual disturbance created by motorized recreational users, construction of utility transmission 
lines and projected mineral exploration activities, i.e. heavy equipment use, would destroy the outstanding 
opportunities for solitude within the recommended nonsuitable area of the WSA. These activities would 
reduce and, in some instances, eliminate areas that provide opportunities for seclusion and solitude. The 
physical scars left on the landscape as a result of exploration efforts would void the area of any scenic or 
photographic qualities. 

The nonsuitable portion would provide hunters and hikers with limited primitive recreational opportunities. 
Most users would utilize the area for access into the recommended suitable portion. Primitive recreational 
use within this area is projected to increase from an estimated 20 to 40 visits annually. 

Special Features 

Two varieties of penstemon (Penstemon bicolor ssp .. bicolor and roseus ) are also included as Category 2 
(Watch) listings on the Federal Register. These two species of plants occur along the western side of 
Ireteba ridge within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. 



4-55 



These special features would remain protected under this alternative. The special features located within 
the recommend suitable portion of the WSA would receive the added protection afforded from wilderness 
designation. 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii ) inhabits the southern boundary area of the WSA. This area is 
considered Category II tortoise habitat. 

Increases in motorized recreational use and the construction of access routes for mineral exploration are 
projected for the area. This surface disturbing activity would negatively impact desert tortoise directly and 
indirectly through the destruction of burrows and vegetation. This potential activity would contribute to a 
decline in the desert tortoise population for the Eldorado Valley region. 

Appropriate protection is foreseen for the desert tortoise as a result of future management actions 
implemented by the categorization habitat within the WSA. Upon categorization of the habitat, either 
management practices would be adopted, or steps taken to mitigate impacts in order to appropriately 
manage the tortoise population. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude and the 
sensitive plant species would be retained within the 1 0, 1 55 acres of the recommended suitable area. 
Wilderness values would be lost on the 4,839 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation as continued and increased cross country motorized vehicle use, projected mineral 
exploration and construction of utilities would negatively impact the area. The desert tortoise would 
be afforded some protection through mitigative measures and the implementation of future 
management actions. 

IMPACTS ON EXPLORATION FOR AND DEVELOPMENT OF NON-ENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES 

The 10,155 acres of the recommended suitable portion of the WSA would be withdrawn from all forms of 
mineral entry. Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all unclaimed 
lands. Included are 190 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallic minerals and 
10,155 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium (Maps 3-37 and 3-38). Exploration 
for precious metals within this portion of the WSA is not projected as the most accessible potential areas 
are located within the recommended nonsuitable area. 

All lands within the 4,839 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness would remain open for mineral 
entry. Included are 710 acres having moderate favorability for the occurrence of metallics and 4,839 acres 
having moderate favorability for the occurrence of uranium. 

Eventual exploration for precious metals is projected to occur within the northern and southern portions of 
the recommended nonsuitable area under Alternative A. Development is not projected to occur as a result 
of exploration. No other mineral exploration or development is projected within the WSA. No adverse 
impacts are expected. 

CONCLUSION: Exploration and development of mineral resources would be foregone on all 
unclaimed lands within the recommended suitable portion of the WSA. Exploration for precious 
metals is projected within the recommended nonsuitable portion of the WSA. There are no 
projected adverse impacts on the exploration of mineral resources within this area. Development 
of precious metal resources is not projected to take place within either the recommended suitable 
or nonsuitable areas. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close 10,155 acres of the WSA recommended suitable to motorized 
recreational use, eliminating approximately 15 visits of motorized recreational use annually. Public land 
offering similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region. Therefore, 
motorized recreational use foregone would be absorbed within the nonsuitable portion of the WSA and on 
surrounding public lands. The impact of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

4-56 



Motorized recreational use would continue within the 4,839 acres recommended nonsuitable for wilderness 
designation. This portion of the WSA provides opportunities for motorized access for hunting and trapping 
and off-road driving. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from an estimated 50 to 1 15 visits 
annually. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would be eliminated on the 10,155 acres recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation and approximately 15 visits would be foregone annually. The 
impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

The 4,839 acres recommended nonsuitable within the Ireteba Peaks WSA would be available for the 
development of utilities within a route, identified by potential users, for a possible 1 mile wide designated 
utility corridor. This would allow the projected construction of a transmission line and associated access 
route. 

CONCLUSION: The development of utilities could occur as a result of the recommended 
nonsuitable area not being designated wilderness. No adverse impacts to this use are expected to 
occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Projected mineral development and vehicle use in the southern portion of the WSA would cause the loss 
of approximately 30 acres of Category II habitat. 

CONCLUSION: Loss of thirty acres of habitat due to mineral exploration and motorized vehicle use. 




4-57 



JUMBO SPRINGS WSA (NV-050-236) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 3,466 acres area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-26). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Although the area's landscape is not conducive to vehicles, nondesignation of the WSA as wilderness would 
leave the area open to motorized recreational use. Motorized recreational use within the area would have 
a negligible impact on the area's natural values, as the WSA's rugged landscape limits this activity. 
The placement of one bighorn sheep guzzler within the area would have a negligible affect on the WSA's 
natural character. The placement and design of the tanks would blend into the landscape and only be 
recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation that exist within the WSA would 
be retained. The noise and visual disturbance from occasional unauthorized off-road vehicle use would not 
diminish these qualities within the WSA. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise (Gopherus aqassizii ) may occur within the WSA. This area is currently not categorized 
as desert tortoise habitat. 

CONCLUSION: No long-term negative impacts to wilderness qualities would occur within the 
Jumbo Springs WSA under the No Wilderness Alternative. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

No activities which would adversely impact desert tortoise habitat are projected. 

CONCLUSION: No impact to desert tortoise. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

No unavoidable adverse impacts would occur. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

No irreversible or irretrievable commitments of any resources are projected to occur. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 3,466 acres of public land in the Jumbo Springs WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-27). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values within the WSA would benefit by the withdrawal of the area from possible mineral 
exploration and development. There would be a slight positive affect on naturalness with the closure of 
the WSA to occasional motorized recreational use and general prospecting activities. Elimination of 
motorized vehicles from the area would halt the formation of new tracks produced by any repeated 
motorized use. 



4-58 



The construction of one bighorn sheep guzzler within the WSA would have a negligible effect on the area's 
natural character. The placement and design of the tanks would blend into the landscape and only be 
recognizable from their immediate vicinity. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude available within the WSA would be retained under the 
All Wilderness Alternative. No activities are projected to occur within the WSA that would adversely impact 
opportunities for solitude. 

The less than outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation that exist within the WSA 
would be retained under the All Wilderness Alternative. 

Special Features 

Wilderness designation would provide additional protection to desert tortoise if they occur in the WSA. 

CONCLUSION: Designation of the Jumbo Springs WSA would preserve the less than outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and the less than outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation. In addition, the naturalness values that exist within the WSA would be retained. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would provide additional protection for desert tortoise and their habitat due to a 
closure to motorized vehicle uses. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness designation would provide additional protection for desert tortoise 
through elimination of possible motorized vehicle use. 




4-59 



N ELLIS ABC WSA (NV-050-04R-1 5) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 5,718 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 

(Map 2-28). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The designation of a potential mile wide utility corridor could allow the development of above and below 
ground utilities across the WSA. Projected construction of five transmission lines, two gas and two fiber 
optic lines, and three access roads disturb an estimated 175 acres by removing vegetation and disrupting 
soils. Additionally, the projected designation of a mile wide transportation corridor extending the width of 
the WSA would allow the construction of a railroad line and associated access routes. This activity would 
physically disturb an additional 58 acres within the WSA. The placement of towers, transmission and rail 
lines across the landscape would result in a modified landform, detracting from the natural character of the 
entire area because of the open terrain where they are to be constructed. 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The study area's 
terrain consists of an open bajada that is readily accessible to vehicles. The construction of access roads 
associated with the projected development of new utilities would increase accessibility into the WSA for 
motorized vehicles. The newly created tracks and ways from increased off-road activity would physically 
disturb an estimated 25 acres within the WSA. Motorized recreational use is projected to increase from an 
estimated 120 to 170 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, the less than outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the WSA 
would be further diminished as a result of the overwhelming sights and sounds created by the continuing 
use of heavy equipment for the construction and maintenance of the proposed utilities, rail lines and 
associated roads, and by motorized recreational vehicles. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for hiking 
and horse backriding. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 
20 to 30 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness values within the WSA would be negatively impacted under the 
Proposed Action. The projected development of utilities, rail lines, associated access routes, and 
increased cross country vehicle use would physically disturb an estimated 258 acres within the WSA. 
The natural perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the construction of utilities (towers, 
lines, roads) and rail lines across the landscape. The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation would be lost due to the sights and sounds created by the aforementioned 
activities occurring in the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. Motorized recreational uses are projected to 
increase from an estimated 1 20 to 1 70 visits annually. The entire WSA provides opportunities for dirt-biking, 
off-road driving, and motorized access for target shooting. 



4-60 



CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use would benefit under the Proposed Action. No adverse 
impacts to this use is expected to occur. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

The 5,718 acre Nellis ABC WSA would be available for the development of utilities within a possible mile 
wide designated utility corridor. This would allow the projected construction of both above and below 
ground utilities. 

CONCLUSION: The development of utilities would be possible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL LINE 

The 5,718 acre Nellis ABC WSA would be available for the development of a rail line within a route, identified 
by the Department of Energy, for a possible mile wide designated transportation corridor. This would allow 
the projected construction of rail road tracks and associated access routes. 

CONCLUSION: The development of a rail line could occur. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 5,718 acres of Category II desert tortoise habitat would not receive the additional protection afforded 
by wilderness designation. Construction of the projected utilities and railroad line would result in a direct 
loss of 258 acres of habitat and seriously fragment the remaining habitat. A viable population of desert 
tortoise would be difficult to maintain within the WSA, as a result of adverse impacts from utility and rail 
line construction. 

CONCLUSION: 258 acres of habitat would be lost by development activities. The remaining habitat 
would be seriously fragmented. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the loss of desert tortoise habitat and 
natural character of the area from off-road motorized recreational use and the construction of utilities and 
a railroad line. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Projected increase in 
motorized recreational use and the construction of utility lines and a railroad line within a potential utility 
corridor and a transportation corridor would reduce naturalness and the amount and quality of desert 
tortoise habitat over the long term. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected construction of utilities and a railroad line would create an irreversible and irretrievable 
commitment of naturalness and desert tortoise. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 5,718 acres of public land in the Nellis ABC WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-29). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

A positive effect on naturalness would occur with the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles, 
thus preventing 170 visits of projected motorized recreational use from occurring annually within the area. 
This action would halt the formation of new two-wheel tracks associated with repeated motorized-vehicle 
use. 



4-61 



Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

The less than outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation that exist within the WSA would 
be retained. Visitors would continue to utilize the area for horse backriding. Primitive recreational (non- 
motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from 20 to 40 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts to Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Designating the WSA as wilderness would preserve wilderness values of 
naturalness and would enhance the protection of desert tortoise. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 5,718 acre Nellis ABC WSA to all forms of motorized recreational 
use. Approximately 120 visits annually of motorized recreational use, including off-road driving and 
motorized access for target shooting, would be eliminated from the WSA. Public land that offers similar 
opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; therefore, motorized 
recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. The impacts of 
shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 1 20 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

No utility lines could be constructed and no corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, utilities could not be developed within 
the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF A RAIL LINE 

No rail line could be constructed and no transportation corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, a rail line could not be developed 
within the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category II desert tortoise habitat by eliminating 
the habitat losses projected to occur as a result of utility development, motorized vehicle use and 
construction of a railroad line. 

CONCLUSION: Wilderness designation would enhance the protection of desert tortoise by 
precluding activities such as the development of utilities, a rail line and associated access roads 
within the WSA. 



4-62 



EVERGREEN ABC WSA (NV-050-01R-16) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 2,694 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-30). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Under the Proposed Action, the access to and extraction of sand and gravel from the one existing material 
site right-of-way would physically disturb 30 acres within the WSA. 

The designation of a potential mile wide utility corridor could allow the development of above ground utilities 
extending the 9 mile length of the WSA. Construction projections of five transmission lines and one access 
road would disturb up to an estimated 285 acres by removing vegetation and disrupting soils. The 
placement of towers and transmission lines across the landscape would result in a modified landform, 
detracting from the natural character of the entire area because of the open terrain where they are to be 
constructed. 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA. The study area's 
terrain consists of an open bajada that is readily accessible to vehicles. The construction of access roads 
associated with the projected development of new utilities would increase accessibility into the WSA for 
motorized vehicles. The newly created tracks and ways from increased off-road activity would physically 
disturb an estimated 7 acres within the WSA. Unrestricted, motorized recreational use is projected to 
increase from an estimated 35 to 60 visits annually. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Under the Proposed Action, the less than outstanding opportunities for solitude that exist within the WSA 
would be further diminished as a result of the unnatural sights and sounds created by the continuing use 
of heavy equipment for the construction and maintenance of the proposed utilities and associated roads, 
and by motorized recreational vehicles. In addition, there would be continued use of heavy motorized 
vehicles to extract sand and gravel from the existing material site. 

The aforementioned activities would further diminish opportunities for primitive (non-motorized) recreation 
within the WSA. Under the Proposed Action, visitors would be less inclined to frequent the area for hiking, 
nature study and sightseeing. Primitive recreational use within the WSA is projected to increase from an 
estimated 10 to 15 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic impacts to threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Utilization of the WSA for the projected development of utilities, motorized 
recreational vehicle use and extraction of sand and gravel could physically disturb up to an 
estimated 322 acres. The natural perception of the entire WSA would be impaired by the 
construction of utilities (towers, lines, roads) across the landscape. The less than outstanding 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation would be further diminished due to the audio and 
visual distractions from the aforementioned activities occurring in the WSA. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Under the Proposed Action, motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA and is projected to 
increase from an estimated 35 to 60 visits annually. The majority of the use would occur along the eastern 
boundary of the WSA, where the projected access roads would be constructed. The WSA provides 
opportunities for motorized access for hunting and trapping, off-road driving and limited vehicle camping. 



4-63 



However, potential and discretionary management actions may restrict motorized recreational use within 
the WSA consequential to desert tortoise habitat categorization. Similar motorized recreational opportunities 
are available throughout the region. The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be 
negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use could continue within the WSA under the Proposed 
Action, benefiting this activity. However, potential and discretionary management actions may 
restrict this use as a result of categorization of the area's tortoise habitat. Impacts to this activity 
would be negligible. 

IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

A total of five transmission lines would be developed in the WSA. Mitigation measures (see Chapter 2) 
designed to protect desert tortoises and their habitat would affect site specific line location and access. 
However, four buried utility lines, two gas and two fiber optic, discussed in the draft EIS would not be 
developed because of mitigating measures and restrictions required for the protection of Category I desert 
tortoise habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The proposed action would allow the development of five transmission 
lines in the WSA, however, four buried utility lines would not be developed because of 
unacceptable impacts on desert tortoise in Category I habitat. 

IMPACTS ON EXISTING MATERIAL SITE RIGHTS-OF-WAY 

The Nevada Department of Transportation would be able to use any or all of the existing material site at 
their discretion subject to mitigation required for the desert tortoise. 



CONCLUSION: No impact to existing material site right-of-way. 



IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

The 2,694 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat within the WSA would not receive the added protection 
afforded from wilderness designation but wqsJc be intensively managed to protect desert tortoise habitat 
under a projected Category I tortoise habitat designation. Even with the implementation of the mitigating 
measures described in Chapter 2, there will be a loss of 322 acres of desert tortoise habitat due to the 
construction of five 500 kv powerlines, removal of sand and gravel and motorized recreational vehicle use. 
This amounts to a loss of twelve percent of the WSA's Category I desert tortoise habitat. While replacement 
habitat could be provided outside of the WSA as a mitigating measure, the loss of habitat within the WSA 
would occur. 

The draft EIS projected the construction of four buried utility lines in addition to the current projection of 
five electrical transmission lines. The impact of these lines would be to fragment the tortoise habitat and 
increase the loss of habitat dramatically. As a result of the disturbance associated with construction of four 
lineal underground lines and the access routes that would result, the loss of habitat would increase from 322 
to 1,900 acres. The habitat would be fragmented in two ways: 1) three narrow strips 14 miles long would 
be created in-between the four buried lines and 2) the habitat would be fragmented into two areas - one east 
of the utility corridor and one west of the utility corridor. This greater loss of habitat is inconsistent with the 
management goals associated with the projected Category I habitat designation and therefore the four 
buried lines are no longer projected for construction. 

CONCLUSION: 322 acres of Category I desert tortoise habitat would be lost due to utility 
development, sand and gravel extraction and motorized recreational use. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be the loss of wilderness values on all 2,694 acres and the loss 
of 322 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat as a result of utility line construction, sand and gravel 
extraction and motorized recreational use. 

4-64 



RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

All present short-term uses could continue. Current projections reduce the amount of desert tortoise habitat 
in the future (long-term) by twelve percent. It will take years of future study to correlate the long-term impact 
this loss of habitat will have on tortoise populations. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

The projected actions would result in the irreversible and irretrievable commitment (loss) of 2,694 acres 
containing wilderness values and 322 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat due to the permanent alteration 
of the area as a result of electrical transmission line construction and sand and gravel extraction. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 2,694 acres of public land in the Evergreen ABC WSA would be recommended suitable for wilderness 
designation (Map 2-31). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

Naturalness values would be enhanced by the closure of the WSA to motorized recreational vehicles halting 
the formation of new tracks and ways associated with repeated cross county and off-road vehicle use. 

Extraction of sand and gravel from the one existing material site located within the northern portion of the 
WSA would physically disturb 30 acres. The sand and gravel operations could be seen from all locations 
in the WSA and would result in the loss of the visual quality of naturalness in all of the WSA. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Sand and gravel extraction from the authorized material site for the Nevada Department of Transportation 
would detract from solitude within the WSA. The sights and sounds of motorized equipment would be used 
in limited short durations. Opportunities for solitude would be negatively impacted in the short-term. 

Visitors would utilize the WSA for occasional hiking, nature study and photography. Primitive recreational 
(non-motorized) use within the WSA is projected to increase from an estimated 10 to 25 visits annually. 

Special Features 

The desert tortoise is a special feature in this WSA. Impacts on the desert tortoise and it's habitat are 
discussed under the topic Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Species/Desert Tortoise. 

CONCLUSION: Extraction of sand and gravel is projected to physically disturb an 
estimated 30 acres. The visual perception of naturalness would be impaired on the entire 
WSA. Opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation within the entire WSA would be 
diminished during periods of active sand and gravel operations due to audio and visual 
distractions. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Wilderness designation would close the 2,694 acre Evergreen ABC WSA to all forms of motorized 
recreational use. Approximately 35 visits annually of cross country motorized recreational use, including 
off-road driving, motorized access for hunting and vehicle camping, would be eliminated from the WSA. 
Public land that offers similar opportunities for motorized recreational use is located throughout the region; 
therefore, motorized recreational use foregone in the WSA would be absorbed on surrounding public lands. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 

CONCLUSION: Motorized recreational use of 35 visits would be foregone annually from the WSA. 
The impacts of shifting this use to other public lands would be negligible. 



4-65 



IMPACTS ON DEVELOPMENT OF UTILITIES 

No utility lines could be constructed and no corridor would be established. 

CONCLUSION: Under the All Wilderness Alternative, utilities could not be developed within the 
WSA. 

IMPACTS ON EXISTING MATERIAL SITE RIGHTS-OF-WAY 

The Nevada Department of Transportation would be able to use any or all of their existing material site at 
their discretion subject to mitigation required as part of the desert tortoise habitat categorization process. 

CONCLUSION: No impact to existing material site right-of-way. 

IMPACTS ON THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES/DESERT TORTOISE 

Wilderness designation would enhance the preservation of Category I desert habitat by eliminating the 
habitat losses projected to occur as a result of utility development and motorized vehicle use. However, 
30 acres of Category I habitat would still be lost due to sand and gravel extraction on a material site. This 
is a one percent loss of Category I habitat. Mitigating measures such as fencing and relocation (Chapter 
2) could lessen impacts to individual animals but the 30 acres of habitat would be severely impacted. 

CONCLUSION: 30 acres of Category I habitat would be lost due to the extraction of sand 
and gravel from an existing material site. 




4-66 



LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT NATURAL AREA (ISA) 

PROPOSED ACTION (NO WILDERNESS/NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE) 

The Proposed Action recommends the entire 12,316 acre area as nonsuitable for wilderness designation 
(Map 2-32). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The ISA, which contains extensive developments on the surrounding private lands, would remain open to 
motorized recreation use. Most of this use occurs along the 22 miles of existing roads. It is projected that 
this use would increase from 50 to approximately 100 visits annually. This would have a negligible impact 
on existing naturalness. The development of an access road to the private parcel within the ISA would add 
another one-tenth mile of roads available for motorized recreation. The physical disturbance to the area from 
the development of the access road would degrade naturalness on about one-half acre within the ISA. 

Approximately 10 percent of the motorized use occurs off-road in the form of cross country travel. This 
use results in tracks and ruts left from vehicles going through soft, damp areas near Mahogany and Summer 
Camp Creeks. This would affect naturalness in the long term on about 20 acres overall within the ISA. 

Required maintenance of the 2400 acre exclosure fence, one reservoir and a developed spring would be 
accomplished primarily with motorized equipment. This would have a negligible effect on naturalness 
because of the utilization of existing roads and the fact that maintenance is infrequent (less than once per 
year) and of short duration. 

Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Increased motorized recreational use on the existing 22 miles of roads would continue to detract from the 
marginal feeling of solitude one may achieve in the area. 

The ongoing maintenance of existing range improvements and wildlife developments within the ISA would 
detract from the feeling of solitude during the time maintenance was being performed. This is normally of 
short duration and is infrequent (less than twice per year). 

Primitive and unconfined recreational activities of hiking, camping, photography, nature study, horseback 
riding and cross country skiing in the winter would continue. The increase in the presence of motorized 
activities would reduce the quality of this experience over the long term along the heavily travelled routes. 
(See Existing Situation Map). 

Special Features 

The most notable special feature of the area is the Lahontan Cutthroat trout which are found in the streams 
within the ISA. The existing projects which were implemented as part of the HMP developed for the area 
have proven successful in stabilizing and protecting the cutthroat trout habitat. The 2,410 acres within the 
ISA fenced the Mahogany Creek area, preventing cattle from entering the sensitive riparian habitat. The 
fence protects the main habitat area for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. The proposed access route would 
be constructed within the extreme southern portion of the ISA away from the trout habitat area. Mitigation 
measures would be done to prevent any erosional activity from depositing sediments into nearby streams 
or drainages. It is not anticipated that any of the projected activities for the ISA would affect the trout 
habitat. 

CONCLUSION: The marginal wilderness values of the ISA would be further reduced by the increase 
in motorized use within the area. The special feature of the Lahontan Cutthroat trout would not be 
affected. Existing management would continue to protect the trout habitat. 



4-67 



IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

The ISA could continue to remain open to motorized recreational use. Motorized recreational use would 
continue along the WSA's some 22 miles of existing roads and cross country. This use is projected to 
increase from an estimated 50 visits to 100 visits annually. 

CONCLUSION: There would be no impact on motorized recreational use. 

IMPACTS ON LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT HABITAT 

Nondesignation of the ISA as wilderness would not affect the Lahontan Cutthroat trout habitat. The existing 
management of the area and the developments implemented as part of the HMP for the trout would be 
maintained. The increase in motorized recreational use is not anticipated to have any effect on the trout 
habitat because the use occurs primarily on existing roads. Mitigative measures would be taken during the 
construction of the proposed access route to prevent erosion and sediments from depositing into any 
nearby streams and drainages. Negative impacts to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are not anticipated under 
the Proposed Action. 

CONCLUSION: There would be no negative impact on the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout habitat. 

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED 

The unavoidable adverse impacts would be those associated with the further reduction of the WSA's 
marginal wilderness values from increased motorized recreational use. 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOCAL SHORT-TERM USES OF MAN'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE 
MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY 

Nondesignation of the WSA would allow all present short-term uses to continue. Motorized recreational 
use would further reduce the area's marginal wilderness values. 

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF RESOURCES 

There would be no irreversible and irretrievable commitment of the wilderness resource. 

ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

All 12,316 acres of public land in the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation (Map 2-33). 

IMPACTS ON WILDERNESS VALUES 
Naturalness 

The extensive developments located on the surrounded private parcels within the ISA would continue to 
detract from the naturalness of the area. A slight positive effect to naturalness would occur with the closure 
of the ISA to off-road vehicle use. This action would prevent 10 visits of projected off-road motorized 
recreational use from occurring annually within the ISA. This would prevent the establishment of new tracks 
and ruts from vehicles going through soft, damp areas near Mahogany and Summer Camp Creeks. 

Most of the motorized use occurs along the 22 miles of existing cherrystemmed roads. It is projected that 
this use would increase from 50 to approximately 90 visits annually. This would have a negligible impact 
on existing naturalness. The development of an access road to the private parcel within the ISA would add 
another one-tenth mile of road available for motorized recreation. The physical disturbance to the area from 
the development of the access road would be the minimum required to allow the private landowner to 
exercise his right to his private property. It is anticipated that naturalness would be degraded on two- tenths 
of an acre within the ISA. 

Maintenance of existing range improvements (exclosure fence, one reservoir and a developed spring) would 
likely continue using motorized equipment. Maintenance of wildlife developments would continue to be 
done primarily by hand. This would have a negligible effect on naturalness as the equipment would use 
existing cherrystemmed roads and would not be allowed cross country travel. 

4-68 



Solitude and Primitive Recreation 

Increased motorized recreational use on the existing 22 miles of roads would continue to detract from the 
marginal feeling of solitude one may achieve in the area. However, the effects of this would be negligible. 

Ongoing maintenance of existing wildlife developments and range improvements within the ISA would 
detract from the feeling of solitude during the time maintenance was being performed. This is normally of 
short duration and is infrequent (less than twice per year). 

Primitive and unconfined types of recreation, including hiking, photography, backpacking, horseback riding 
and cross country skiing would benefit from the closure of the ISA to off-road vehicle access. Continued 
use of cherrystemmed roads by motorized recreationalists would detract from the quality of the primitive 
experience over the long term. 

Special Features 

The predominant special feature in the ISA is the Lahontan Cutthroat trout. The existing projects which 
were implemented as part of the HMP developed for the area have proven successful in stabilizing and 
protecting the cutthroat trout habitat. The proposed access route would be constructed within the extreme 
southern portion of the ISA away from the trout habitat area. Mitigation measures would be done to prevent 
any erosional activity from depositing sediments into any nearby streams or drainages. The trout habitat 
is not anticipated to be affected by projected activities within the ISA. 

CONCLUSION: Designation of the ISA as wilderness would benefit the values of naturalness and 
solitude by the preclusion of off-road, cross country travel within the ISA. However, overall 
wilderness values in this largely roaded area would remain low. The special feature of the Lahontan 
Cutthroat trout would be preserved. 

IMPACTS ON LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE 

Designation of the ISA as wilderness would close the area to off-road, cross country travel. This would be 
a negligible effect to recreation because only 10 percent (or about 5 visits annually) are attributed to this 
type of use. Motorized use on existing cherrystemmed roads would continue to increase to approximately 
90 visits annually. 

CONCLUSION: The impacts to motorized recreational use would be negligible, eliminating less 
than 1 percent of the existing use. 

IMPACTS ON LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT HABITAT 

Designation of the ISA as wilderness would benefit the Lahontan Cutthroat trout habitat. The existing 
management of the area and the developments implemented as part of the HMP for the trout would be 
maintained. Motorized recreational use is not anticipated to effect the trout habitat because use would be 
limited to existing roads. The projected access road construction would be a good distance away from the 
sensitive trout habitat area. In addition, mitigation would be done to prevent any erosional activity from 
depositing sediment into nearby drainages and streams. 

CONCLUSION: There would be no impact to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout habitat from the 
designation of the ISA as wilderness. 



4-69 














4-70 



CHAPTER 5 

Consultation and Coordination 



INTRODUCTION 

This Nevada Contiguous Lands Final Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared by 
specialists from the Ely, Winnemucca, and Las Vegas District Offices and the Nevada State Office (See Table 
5-3 List of Preparers). The entire wilderness review process has involved public participation since its 
initiation in 1978. The process included inventories of resources, public participation, and coordination with 
individuals, organizations, and other agencies. Care has been exercised to ensure that the public has been 
consulted and informed throughout the wilderness review process. 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT 

Development of the recommendations for the Nevada Contiguous Lands Final Wilderness Environmental 
Impact Statement included on-going coordination and public participation. Federal Register notices and 
news releases announced all steps of the process to date, including notices of intent for preparation of the 
Schell, Sonoma-Gerlach, Caliente and Clark Management Framework Plan Amendments/Wilderness Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, notice of availability of the Plan Amendments/EIS, notice of public 
hearings, and public comment periods. 

The Draft EIS was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on June 17, 1988. A BLM notice 
announcing the availability of the Draft EIS was also published on June 17, 1988, in the Federal Register 
(Volume 53, No. 117). 

This notice announced that the review period ended September 16, 1988, and listed the dates and locations 
of the two public hearings in Reno and Las Vegas. 

Over 500 copies of the Draft EIS were distributed to reviewing agencies, elected officials and interested 
publics. Reading copies of the Draft EIS were sent to public libraries and to BLM offices in Nevada, Utah 
and California. News releases were issued to the local and regional news media. Due to the size of the 
mailing list (over 500), the following (Table 5-1) is only a partial list of those contacted. 



5- 1 



,,,.-.:: ■-:.■,.:: -^ ,.. 



Table 5-1 

AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND PERSONS TO WHOM 
THE DRAFT EIS WAS SENT 

Congressional Delegation 

Senator Chick Hecht, Nevada 
Senator Harry Reid, Nevada 
Representative James H. Bilbray, Nevada 
Representative Barbara Vucanovich, Nevada 

Federal Agencies 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 
Department of Agriculture 

Forest Service 

Soil Conservation Service 

Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service 
Department of Commerce 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Department of Defense 

Nellis Air Force Base 

George Air Force Base 

Edwards Air Force Base 

Army Corps of Engineers 
Department of Energy 

Bonneville Power Administration 

Western Area Power Administration 
Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Indian Affairs 

Bureau of Mines 

Bureau of Reclamation 

Fish and Wildlife Service 

Geological Survey 

National Park Service 

Office of Environmental Project Review 
Department of Transportation 

Federal Highway Administration 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
Environmental Protection Agency 

State Agencies 

Office of the Governor 

Nevada State Clearinghouse (25 copies - distributes copies to State 

Agencies) 
State Senators and Assemblymen (Clark, Lincoln, Humboldt and White Pine 

Counties) 
University of Nevada, Reno and/or Las Vegas 

Desert Research Institute 

Fleischmann College of Agriculture 

Center for Business and Economic Research 

Department of Biological Sciences 

Mackay School of Mines 

Nevada Bureau of Mines 



5-2 



Local Government 

Boulder City Chamber of Commerce 

Citizen Advisory Councils/Town Boards (11) 

Clark County Commission 

Clark County Dept. of Comprehensive Planning 

Clark County Extension Agent 

Clark County Conservation District/Soil 

Clark County Southern Nevada Museum 

Henderson Planning Department 

Henderson Chamber of Commerce 

Humboldt County Commissioners 

Humboldt County Extension Office 

Humboldt County Planning Commission 

Lincoln County Commission 

Lincoln County Conservation District 

Las Vegas City Manager 

Mayor of Boulder City 

Mayor of Caliente 

Mayor of Ely 

Mayor of Henderson 

Mayor of Las Vegas 

Mayor of North Las Vegas 

Mayor of Lovelock 

Mayor of Winnemucca 

North Las Vegas Planning Department 

Pershing County Commissioners 

Washoe County Department of Regional Planning 

Washoe County Manager 

White Pine Chamber of Commerce 

White Pine County Commission 

White Pine County Conservation District 

White Pine County Extension Service 

Native American Councils 

Duckwater Tribal Council 
Ely Indian Colony 
Fort Mojave Tribal Council 
Intertribal Council of Nevada 
Las Vegas Tribal Council 
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe 
Wimmemucca Indian Council 



Others 



American Assoc, of Petroleum Geologists 
American Borate Corporation 
American Horse Protection Association 
American Mining Congress 
AMSELCO Exploration Inc. 
Anaconda Minerals Co. 
Animal Protection Institute 
Atlantic Richfield Co. 
Audubon Society 



5-3 



Best in the Desert Racing Association 

Boulder Gem Club 

Chevron USA, Inc. 

Defenders of Wildlife 

Desert Tortoise Council 

Desert Bighorn Council 

Ducks Unlimited 

Earth First 

Fraternity of Desert Bighorn 

Friends of Nevada Wilderness 

Friends of the Earth 

Foote Mineral Company 

Gamblers Motorcycle Club 

Greenpeace 

Humane Society of Southern Nevada 

Industrial Mineral Ventures 

International Society for the Protection of Mustangs 

Las Vegas Gem Club 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 

Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada 

Multiple Use Advisory Board on Federal Land Laws 

National Mustang Association 

National Wildlife Federation 

Natural Resources Defense Council 

Nature Conservancy 

Nevada Bell 

Nevada Cattlemen's Association 

Nevada League of Women Voters 

Nevada Miners and Prospectors Association 

Nevada Off-Highway Users Council 

Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association 

Nevada Power Company 

Nevada Wildlife Federation 

Nevada Woolgrowers Association 

Northern Nevada Native Plant Society 

Sierra Club 

Sierra Pacific Power Company 

Society for Range Management 

Southern California Edison 

Sunshine Mining Company 

The Wilderness Society 

Valley Electric Association 

Wildlife Management Institute 

Winnemucca Gem and Mineral Society 

Public Libraries 

Amargosa Public Library 

Star Route 15 

Box401-T 

Lathrop Wells, Nevada 89020 



5-4 



Beatty Community Library 
323 Montgomery 
Beatty, Nevada 89002 

Charleston Heights Library 

800 Brush Street 

Las Vegas, Nevada 89107 

Clark County Community College 
Learning Resource Center 
3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. 
North Las Vegas, Nevada 89030 

Clark County Library 
1401 E. Flamingo Rd. 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 

Esmeralda County Public Library 
County Courthouse 
Goldfield, Nevada 89013 

Esmeralda County Public Library 
Silver Peak, Nevada 89047 

Humboldt County Library 
Winnemucca, Nevada 89445 

Las Vegas Public Library 
1762 E. Charleston Blvd. 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104 

Lincoln County Library 
Caliente, Nevada 89008 

Mount Charleston Public Library 
P.O. Box 269, S. R. 89038 
Mt. Charleston, Nevada 89101 

North Las Vegas Library 

2300 Civic Center 

North Las Vegas, Nevada 89030 

Pahrump Public Library 
Pahrump, Nevada 89041 

Pershing County Library 
Lovelock, Nevada 

University of Nevada, Reno 
Getchell Library 
Government Publications Dept. 
Reno, Nevada 89507 



5-5 



Washoe County Library 
301 S. Center Street 
Reno, Nevada 89505 

White Pine County Library 
Ely, Nevada 89301 

Bureau of Land Management Offices 

Arizona Strip District Office 
196 East Tabernacle 
St. George, Utah 84770 

Office of Public Affairs, BLM 
18th and C Streets, NW 
Washington, DC 20240 

Nevada State Office 
P.O. Box 12000 
Reno, Nevada 89520 

Battle Mountain District Office 
North 2nd and South Scott Streets 
Battle Mountain, Nevada 89820 

Carson City District Office 
1050 E. William Street 
Carson City, Nevada 89701 

Elko District Office 
2002 Idaho Street 
Elko, Nevada 89801 

Ely District Office 
Star Route 5, Box 1 
Ely, Nevada 89301 

Las Vegas District Office 
4765 West Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89126 

Tonopah Resource Area Office 
Battle Mountain District 
102 Old Radar Base Rd. 
Tonopah, Nevada 89049 

Winnemucca District Office 
704 East 4th Street 
Winnemucca, Nevada 89445 

Riverside District Office 
1695 Spruce Street 
Riverside, California 92507 



5-6 



Ridgecrest Resource Area Office 
Riverside District 
1414 A. N. Norma 
Ridgecrest, California 93555 

Needles Resource Area Office 

Riverside District 

P.O. Box 305 

Needles, California 92363 



CONSISTENCY WITH OTHER PLANS 
Federal Agencies 

After review of the Draft EIS by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Desert NWR Complex), they stated that 
study areas Fish and Wildlife 1, 2, 3 and Evergreen ABC be recommended for wilderness designation. The 
desert National Wildlife Range has been proposed for wilderness designation, so they feel that it is 
appropriate to consider the adjoining BLM lands as a wilderness unit. The Range's original wilderness 
proposal (Desert Wilderness Proposal - 1971 ) identified these WSAs as part of the areas recommended for 
wilderness. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Great Basin Complex) stated their preference for these areas would be the 
All Wilderness Alternative for the purpose of protecting the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). An 
additional Section 7 consultation was received following the emergency designation of the desert tortoise 
as an endangered species. The Fish and Wildlife Service continues to support wilderness designation for 
desert tortoise habitat areas. 

State Agencies 

Governor Richard H. Bryan, offering the consistency position for the State Departments of Agriculture, 
Wildlife, Minerals, Conservation and Natural Resources and the Nevada Bureau of Mines, supports the 
Proposed Action for those WSAs addressed in the Draft EIS. 

County Government 

Humboldt County supports the Proposed Action for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area. 
Lincoln County supports the Draft EIS Proposed Action. 
Native Americans 

The Western Shoshone National Council stated that the lands identified in the Draft EIS were part of the 
Western Shoshone Nation and that the attempt to establish a wilderness area within the territory by any 
agency of the United States federal government is premature. 



5-7 



COMMENTS AND RESPONSES 

A total of 36 written comments were received on the Nevada Contiguous Lands Draft Wilderness EIS. All 
of the letters received have been printed in their entirety in this chapter. 

Two public hearings were held during the public review period on the Draft EIS. The first was in Las Vegas, 
Nevada, on August 3, 1988. Oral statements were presented by 22 people. Six people presented oral 
testimony at the second hearing in Reno, Nevada, on August 4, 1988. Official written transcripts of the 
public hearings are included in this chapter. 

Substantive comments which presented new data, questioned facts and/or analyses or commented on 
issues bearing directly on the Draft EIS were fully evaluated and given responses. These letters and 
testimonies are printed in their entirety. 

The letters printed in the next section are grouped as follows: federal agencies, state/local agencies, 
organizations/companies, and individuals. The testimonies are listed in order as given. The numbers in the 
left margins adjacent to each issue addressed refer to numbered responses following each document. Each 
letter and testimony was addressed individually in this manner. Comments from the Nevada State 
Clearinghouse were counted as one letter although they were composed of the individual agency comments. 
Table 5-2 contains a list of all comment numbers and corresponding names. 



5-8 



Table 5-2 
LIST OF COMMENTORS 
Letters 

Comment No. Commentor 

Federal Agencies 

1 Department of Energy 

2 Bureau of Mines 

3 Fish and Wildlife Service (Desert NWR Complex) 

4 Fish and Wildlife Service (Great Basin Complex) 

5 National Park Service (Western Region) 

6 Environmental Protection Agency 

State/Local Agencies 

7 Governor's Consensus Review/Nevada State 

Clearinghouse 

8 Humboldt County Commissioners 

Native American Groups 

9 Western Shoshone National Council 

Organizations/Companies 

10 Best in the Desert Racing Association 

1 1 Desert Tortoise Council 

12 Freeport Mining 

13 Gamblers Motorcycle Club 

14 Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada 

15 Sierra Club 

16 Friends of Nevada Wilderness 



Individuals 

17 

19 
21 
23 
25 



27 
29 
31 
33 
35 



Edwin Ardrey 
Anita A. Bowen 
K. Davies 
Michael Glenn 
James D. & Leeta Mae 
Horn 

Jim Humble 
Bob Maichle 
Douglas E. Noland 
Jack & Kathy Robertson 
Sam Snowden 



18 


Elliott Bernshaw 


20 


T. Brooks 


22 


Annie Glanny 


24 


Paul Guadagnoli 


26 


Nancy Humble 


28 


JB Jacks 


30 


Robert Mekus 


32 


Wm. H. Plembur 


34 


Reed Secord 


36 


John R. Swanson 



Oral Testimony 



Comment No. Commentor 

1 James D. Horn 

2 Geoff Arnold, Vicroy Gold Crop. 

3 Ray Irwin 

4 David Hennan 



5-9 



5-10 



WRITTEN TESTIMONY 



5-11 



5-12 



«1 

03 




Department of Energy 

Nevada Operations Oflice 

P. O- Box 98518 
Us Vegas. NV 89193-8518 

AUG 1 1 1966 



Ben Collins, District Manager 

ATTN: Janaye Byergo, EIS Team Leader 

U.S. Bureau of Land Management 

P.O. Box 26569 

Las Vegas, NV 89126 

PROPOSED WITHDRAWAL OF BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 

We have reviewed the proposed land use plan containing the preliminary 
wilderness recommendations. Two currently designated wilderness Study Areas 
{WSA} (Quail Springs and Nellis) are of interest to the Nevada Nuclear Waste 
Storage Investigations Project for potential rail right-of-way development. 
We support your recommendation that the Quail Springs and Nellis WSA be 
dropped from further consideration for wilderness designation. 

Please continue to update the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the status of 
the WSA. If you require further information, you may contact Carl P. Gertz, 
Project Manager, DOE Waste Management Project Office, at 794-7920 or 
101 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, 



<P 



WMPO:ELL-3083 



cc: 



Wick C. Aquili. 
Manager 




Christopher Kouts, HQ (RW-321) F0RS 
W. B. Andrews, SAIC, Las Vegas, NV 
M. w. Harris, SAIC, Las Vegas, NV 
E. L. wilmot, VIMPO, NV 
w. R. Dixon, WHPO, NV 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 1 



Your support for the Draft EIS's Proposed Action has been noted 
especially for the Quail Springs and Nellis WSAs. 



2-1 




(Jl 



United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF MINES 

WESTERN FIELD OPERA RONS CENTER 

EAST 360 3RD AVENUE 

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON 99202 



July 6, 1988 



Memorandum 

To: Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office, Reno, Nevada 

From: Supervisor, Mineral Issues Involvement Section, Branch of Engineering 
and Economic Analysis 

Subject: Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness Draft Environmental Impact 

Statement (DEIS), Clark, Lincoln, White Pine, and Humboldt Counties, 
Nevada 

We have reviewed the Nevada Contiguous Lands DEIS and, in general, concur 
with the various mineral assessments and proposed actions. However, for the 
Marble Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) , it. appears that the wiLderness- 
nonwi Iderness areas were baaed on incomplete information. Essentially there 
are two geologic issues that concern this area: (1) carbonate strata and (2) 
detachment faults with associated al Jochthonous masses of rock. 

Higher quality limestone is recognized in the proposed nonwi Iderness designated 
part of the WSA, but similar rocks may occur elsewhere because the carbonate 
strata occurs in most of the entire WSA. Limestone has a moderate to high 
{high in the northwest corner) potential for building to commercial -vise 
purposes (Mike Diggles, U.S. Geological Survey, Men lo Park, CA, 1988, personal 
communication) . 

The detachment fault and associated upper plate rocks are in the proposed 
wilderness part of the WSA. Chip samples from two adits that explore the 
detachment- faulted rocks in this area contained anomalous barium, molybdenum, 
and tungsten (Richard Kness, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Denver, CO, 1988, personal 
communication! . Mines in the same geologic environment south of this area have 
produced gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten (Lincoln, 1923, pp. 
242-254). The WSA has a moderate potential for the discovery of precious and 
base metal deposits. 



2-2 



included in a 
econtmend thai a 
fcfae contact area of the allochthonous rock masses be 



We are concerned that a favnrable geologic environment 
proposed wilderness area. Prior to a final decision 
site-specific study 
performed. 



<y 



_^^*«^J 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 2 



1. The BLM recognizes that higher quality limestone occurs both within 
the proposed suitable and nonsuitable areas. The suitable boundary 
through Bars Canyon was based on several management concerns; these 
include range management practices and publ ic concerns developed 
through scoping, as well as known mineral resources* 



The boundary recommendations in the draft EIS are prel inn nary and 
will be reassessed upon receipt of the final USGS/BM mineral report 
and substative comments received during the public comment period. 



01 
I 




United States Department of the Interior 

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE 

Desert NWR Complex 

1500 N. Decatur Blvd. 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 

August 25, 198B ' : ' ' 



Bureau of Land Management 
Las Vegas District Office 
P.O. Box 26569 
Las Vegas, Nevada B9126 



Attn; 



Janaye Buergo 

Wilderness DEIS Team Leader 



Dear Janaye; 



Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment 
Lands Draft Environmental Impact Statement. 



the Nevada Contiguous 



Our main comment is that we prefer study areas Fish and Wildlife ftl , M2 , S3 
and Evergreen ABC be recommended for wilderness designation. The reason for 
this is that under the no wilderness alternative these areas, which adjoin 
the Desert National WildliEe Range, will be open to off-road vehicles. When 
off-road use occurs on these BLM lands, vehicles can easily pass onto the 
Desert National Wildlife Range where off-road vehicles are not permitted. 
Our common boundary in this area is not marked. Currently this has not been 
a serious problem. However, our impression is that as the populations of 
southern Nevada continues to grow, it will become a significant concern. 
Especially if proposed development by Aerojet General Corporation, east of 
Hwy 93 results in a new community of people in this vicinity. 

One additional comment is that since the Desert National Wildlife Range is 
a proposed wilderness, it seems appropriate to consider the adjoining BLM 
land as a wilderness unit, and not as a narrow strip of land located between 
Hwy 93 and the boundary of Desert National Wildlife Range. 

Sincerely, 

David J ./Brown 
Refuge Manager 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 3 



Your support for the Draft EIS's All Wilderness Alternative for 
Evergreen and Fish and Wildlife 1, 2, and 3 WSAs, has been noted. 



As the relationship of the Desert National Wildlife Range lands to 
the adjacent WSAs is a manageability issue, it is not addressed in 
this EIS. However, the Wilderness Study Report (WSR) being prepared 
for each of these WSAs will discuss this manageability issue as well 
as provide a rationale for the final wilderness suitable/nonsuitable 
recommendation. The Wilderness Study Report will complete the BLMs 
Wilderness Review Process and stand as the Record of Decision, which 
will be signed by the Secretary of the Interior, 

The wilderness status of the adjacent Desert National Wildlife Range 
lands has been identified in Chapter 3 - Affected Environment of 
this EIS. 



4-1 







United States Department of the Interior 

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE 
GREAT BASIN COMPLEX 
4600 Kietzke Lane, Building C 
Reno, Nevada 89502 



August 29, 1988 
File # 1-5-88-TA-130 



Memorandum 

To: State Director, Bureau of Land Management, Reno, Nevada 

From: Complex Manager, Reno, Nevada 



Subject: 



Draft Nevada Contiguous Lands Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement <EC# 88/48) 



The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has reviewed the Nevada 
Contiguous Lands Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Statenent) 
for preliminary wilderness recommendations on 13 Wilderness Study 
Areas In Clark, Lincoln, White Pine and Humboldt Counties, 
Nevada. Our Comments are as follows. 

GENERAL COMMENTS 

The document is concise and generally well written but is 
incomplete regarding wildlife resources and threatened and 
endangered species. Although the Supplemental Values and 
Wildlife Resources sections in Chapter 3, Affected Environment, 
mention key species and major habitat types in some cases, little 
information is given on the location and extent of these 
resources. Therefore, it is impossible to make judgments 
regarding the extent to which wildlife and habitats in each 
Wilderness Study Area may benefit from wilderness designation. 

We have special concerns regarding habitat for the desert 
tortoise ( Gopherns agassizii ) , currently a Category 2 candidate 
for Federal listing as an endangered species. The Service is 
currently in the process of reviewing the status of candidate 
vertebrate species and plans to issue an updated Notice of Review 
in the Federal Registe r in the near future. Our Regional Office 
has recommended that the desert tortoise population north and 
west of the Colorado River be placed in Category 1 status. A 
petition has been submitted to the Service for listing of this 
species as endangered. The Service determined that listing is 
warranted, but the listing process has been precluded by higher 
priorities. Because of continuing severe threats to desert 
tortoise populations in Nevada, in part due to off-road vehicle 
use, wilderness designation for areas in which the tortoise is 
found could be of major importance in providing long-term 
protection for the species. 



v .;: . . ■ - -- 



4-2 



01 

I 



SPECIFIC COmgHTS 

Chapter 2_. Proposed Action and Alternatives. 

Marble Canyon Wilderness Study Area . He support the 
proposed action to designate 8,300 acres of Marble Canyon 
Wilderness Study Area as wilderness. However, we believe 
additional information on biological resources of the area 
is necessary to determine if additional portions of the 
study site also should be included (see comments below). 

Pish and Wildlife Nos ■ 1_, 2_, and 3. We support the All 
Wilderness alternative for these three study areas. The 
benefits that would be afforded the desert tortoise through 
wilderness designation of these large sections of crucial 
habitat, in part through eliminating motorized recreational 
use, would be highly important in protecting this species. 
Protection would also be afforded the candidate plant, 
Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus . Because these three study 
areas are immediately adjacent to the Desert National 
Wildlife Range, a proposed wilderness area, we believe such 
designation is appropriate. 

Line Canyon Wilderness Study Area . We support designation 
of the 13,895 acres as wilderness under the proposed action. 
Ue recommend that additional acreage extending easterly to 
encompass the Arctomecon California population (see 
enclosure) be included. 

Million Hills Wilderness Study Area . We support a 
modification'of Alternative A (Partial Wilderness 
Alternative) to designate a minimum of 12,850 acres of the 
study area as wilderness. This designation should include 
Azure Ridge and the 1,800 acres of crucial desert tortoise 
habitat in the northerly portion of the study area. 

Evergreen Wilderness Study Area. We support designation of 
the entire 2,694 acres of this study area (All Wilderness 
Alternative) as wilderness because of the protection it 
would afford the desert tortoise. 

Chapter i. Affected Environment . 

p_. 3-4. Marble Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Wildlife 
Resources ■ Bo information is provided on which portion of 
the 19,150 acres contains bighorn sheep winter habitat, 
raptor and grouse habitats, and potential elk migration 
corridors. Locations of these habitats may be important in 
determining the boundaries of the area proposed for 
wilderness. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 4 



Your support for the Proposed Action for Marble Canyon and Lime 
Canyon; the All Wilderness Alternative for Fish and Wildlife 1, 2, 3 
and Evergreen from the draft document has been noted. Your support 
For the Partial Wilderness Alternative for Million Hills, slightly 
modified from the draft document has also been noted. 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment of this final EIS contains the 

information requested on bighorn sheep winter habitat, raptpr and 

grouse habitats as well as potential elk migration corridors for the 
Marble Canyon WSA. 

Chapter 3 of this Final EIS reflects your comments regarding the 
Category 2 candidate species. 



4-3 



£• 3-6. Fish and Wildlife Mob. !_, 2, and 3_, Threatened and 
Endangered Species . Penstemon bicolor ssp. roseus , a 
Category 2 candidate for Federal Hating as an endangered 
species, is found within Fish and Wildlife #3. 

p_. 3-11, Line Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Threatened and 
Endangered Species , The golden bear poppy ( Arc tome con 
California ) , a Category 2 candidate, is found within this 
study area. A gila monster ( Helodertna suspectum ) , also a 
Category 2 candidate, was sighted on Lime ridge in 1980 
(Teri Knight, Nevada Heritage Program, Carson City, Nevada, 
pers. coram. ) . 



P_. 3r 



01 
I 



CO 



-26. El Dorado Wilderness Study Area. Threatened and 
Endangered Species , Two Category 2 plants, Penstemon 
bicolor ssp. roseus and P. b. ssp. bicolor . are found within 
this study area. 

p_. 3-36. Evergreen Wilderness Study Area, Supplemental 
Values . Portions of thiB study area contain potential 
habitat for Chrysothamnus ereaobiua which has been 
recommended for Category 2 candidate status. 

Chapter 4. Environmental Consequences . Appropriate sections of 
this chapter should be revised to reflect our comments on 
Category 2 candidate species. 

Thank you for the opportunity to review this document. If you 
have any questions regarding our comments, please contact Mary Jo 
Elpers at FTS 470-5227 or 702-7B4-5227. 




lutfid/f - jfLt 



OM'^xAM 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 4 



Appropriate sections in Chapter 4 - 
this Final EIS reflects your comments 



Envi ronmental Consequences of 



Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco, CA 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Regional Office, Portland, OR 

Division of Endangered Species and Habitat Conservation, 

Branch of Federal Activities, BFA (ERT>, Washington, DC 
Nevada Department of Wildlife, Reno and Las Vegas, NV 



4-4 



March 1986 



01 

I 



(S 




4-5 



May 1984 





IN REPLY XEFBH TO: 

L7619(WR-RP) 
June 30, 1988 



United States Department of the Interior 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 
WESTERN REGION 
430 GOLDEN GATE AVENUH&OX J606J 
SAN FRANCISCO. CALIFORNIA 94102J ' ** 



Memorandum 
To: 



District Manager, 
Nevada 




Bureau of Land Management, Las Vegas, 



01 

r 

© 



From: .Associate Regional Director, Resource Management and 
*,&** Planning, Western Region 

Subject: Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement for Nevada 
Contiguous Lands (DES-83/34) 

We have reviewed the above referenced document and have the 
following comments regarding cultural resources: 

1. The document does not satisfactorily address cultural 
resources or applicable legislative mandates and compliance 
procedures. Historic resources and Native American concerns 
are not addressed. Also, the DEIS does not indicate 
consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer 
(SHPO) or provide a SHPO opinion regarding wilderness 
designation. This consultation should be documented in the 
final EIS. 

2. Wilderness designation does not automatically convey 
resource protection. While elimination of motorized access 
and construction activities does have some positive effects, 
looting and/or vandalism could still occur if the WSAs are 
open to recreational hikers and horseback riders. The DEIS 
also does not address certain adverse impacts that can occur 
even in a wilderness area due to fire management 
activities, livestock use, road or trail maintenance 
activities, etc. 

3. Archeological sites have been identified in a number of the 
WSAs, yet it appears they been have dismissed as 
insignificant and not eligible for nomination to the 
National Register of Historic Places without an eligibility 
opinion being solicited from the SHPO. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 5 

1. Cultural Resources as a whole was not an issue addressed in the EIS 
as it is not expected that impacts occurring from casual or 
unregulated uses to either known or unknown prehistoric and historic 
located within the WSAs would vary as a result ' 



resources 



of 



The 



Bureau' 



wilderness designation or nondesignation, 
responsibility in complying with legislative mandates and procedures 
for cultural resources has been addressed under " Impacts to Cultural 
Resources" in Chapter I. The SHPO has reveiwed and commented upon 
the Draft EIS. 

2. All anticipated areas of impact were analyzed in the EIS, based on 
the best estimates of projected occurrences. Wo specific impacts to 
cultural resources were identified and therefore were not analyzed. 

3 Inventories of known or unknown cultural sites within the WSAs are 
conducted on a case by case basis in connection with proposed 
projects. The findings of significance in any inventories or any 
actions proposed would be referred to SHPO for their review and 
concurrence. 



6-2 



4. It also appears that no archeological survey has been 
conducted for some of the proposed WSAs. Wilderness 
designation still requires compliance with Executive Order 
11593 responsibilities. Further, once wilderness 
designation has been accomplished, the costs of survey and 
inventory could increase. 

We appreciate the opportunity to review and comment on "this 
statement. 



RwwLYlV.Wir* 



cc: 
IAS 
WASO 762 



01 
I 
rJ 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 5 

A. Wilderness studies do not constitute a need for automatic survey of 
prehistoric and historic cultural resources. Neither do WSAs gain 
priority funding for survey and recordation. Priorities are set by 
project proposals and for highly sensitive cultural resource areas, 
which have not been identified in any of the stated WSAs. The Las 
Vegas District's Management Plan complies with Executive Order 
11593, using due caution until the inventory and nomination 
processes are completed. 



6-1 



01 

1 
M 



/"\ 



W 



UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 

REGION IX 

215 Fremont SlrBBt 

San Francisco, Ca. 94105 

'« 8 SEP 199B 



Mr. Edward F. Spang 
Bureau of Land Management 
Nevada State Office 
P.O. Box 12000 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89520 

Dear Mr. Spang: 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed 
the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) titled NEVADA 
CONTIGUOUS LANDS WILDERNESS. Our detailed comments on this docu- 
ment are enclosed. 

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review 
and comment on this DEIS. 

We have classified this DEIS as Category EC-2 , Environmental 
Concerns - Insufficient Information {see attached "Summary of 
Rating Definitions and Follow-Up Action"). This DEIS is rated 
EC-2 because it does not: 1) specify how Wilderness Study Areas 
(WSAs) were recommended for wilderness or non-wilderness status 
or 2) show how state and federal standards for air and water 
quality would be met. 

We appreciate the opportunity to review this DEIS. Please 
send four copies of the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(FEIS) to this office at the same time it is officially filed 
with our Washington, D.C. office. If you have any questions, 
please call me at (415) 974-6083 (FTS 454-SCG3) or have your 
staff contact Harriet Hill at (415) 974-8193 (FTS 454-8193). 



Sincerely yours. 



/ 



Deanrta M. Wieman, Director 
Office of External Affairs 



Enclosure {two pages) 

cc: USFWS, Reno, Mary Jo Elpers 
NDOW, Reno, Fenton Kay 



6-2 



EPA COMMENTS OK NEVADA CCNTIGLOUS LAUDS DEIS, SEPTEMBER 19BB 



COMMENTS 



1. The DEIS proposes that only 22,195 acres (11%) of the 200,918 
acres of the Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) be designated wilder- 
ness. However, it does not adequately explain how these deci- 
sions were made, with the result that some appear arbitrary. For 
example, the majority of the Marble Canyon WSA is said to be "in 
an extremely natural condition" (p. 3-1) , yet less than half of 
it ia recommended for wilderness. There are no apparent con- 
flicts with other uses, as exemplified by the statement that, in 
the portion of the WSA not recommended for wilderness, 
"development of marble resources as a result of exploration would 
likely not occur" (p. 2-1). 

The DEIS also states that an all-wilderness alternative "would 
have no effect on current grazing practices" and that banning 
motorized vehicles "would have a slight adverse economic impact 
on the operator" (p. 2-7). Similarly, WSAs such as Million 
Hills, Garrett Buttes, El Dorado, Ireteba Peaks, and Jumbo 
Springs are noted by the DEIS as having "outstanding oppor- 
tunities for solitude," "pristine features," "excellent raptor 
nesting sites," desert tortoise habitat," and an "extremely 
natural condition." Still, none of these areas are proposed for 
wilderness although no major constraints appf=^r to exist. 

The FEIS should specify how BLM applies its criteria for recom- 
mending wilderness or non-wilderness status, state how final 
land use decisions are made when there are major and minor con- 
flicts between wilderness values and resource/recreation poten- 
tial. 

2. We are especially concerned about the decision to propose no 
wilderness status for the four WSAs that provide crucial habitat 
for the desert tortoise. This species was recently recommended 
for Category 1 status for federal listing as an endangered 
species (M. Elpers, pers. comm. , U. S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service) . In particular, the non-designation of the three Fish 
and Wildlife WSAs is expected to have direct impacts on almost 
2200 acres of crucial habitat. Indirect impacts on this habitat 
could be substantially greater but are not discussed, wilderness 
designation of the Fish and Wildlife WSAs and the Evergreen WSA 
would protect tortoise habitat from off-road vehicles. It would 
also create a significant refuge, since the Fish and Wildlife 
WSAs are adjacent to the Desert National Wildlife Range, a 
proposed wilderness area. 

The FEIS should: 

A. Recommend the Fish and Wildlife and Evergreen WSAs for 
wilderness status or fully justify why they do not qualify as 
such. 



01 

I 

CO 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 6 



The purpose of the EIS, as defined in NF.PA, is to "provide full and 
fair discussion of significant environmental impacts and shall 
inform decisionmakers and the public of reasonable alternatives..." 
"It shall be used by Federal Officers in conjunction with other 
relevant materials to plan actions and make decisions", {p. 10 CEQ 
Regulations - 40 CFR 1500-1508) 

As this EIS is an analytical document, the rationale for the 
decisions will not be addressed. The rationale for the final 
decisions will be written into the Record of Decision, which in the 
case of Wilderness is the Wilderness Study Report that is signed by 
the Secreatry of the Interior. 



6-3 



EPA COWENTS ON NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS 0E1S, SEPTEH3EH 19S8 

B. Discuss the indirect impacts of non-wilderness designa- 
tion on the desert tortoise population. 

3. We believe that air quality and water quality of adjacent 
lands will be best preserved by wilderness status. The DEIS does 
not address impacts to air and water quality which could occur in 
or near the WSA acreage not recommended for wilderness. The FEIS 
should do the following. 

A. Describe how future projects and activities (mining, 
utilities, railroads, and off-road vehicle use) in non-designated 
WSA acreage will meet federal and state air quality requirements. 

1) BIM must manage undesignated areas to comply with the 
federal Clean Air act, which prohibits talcing any federal action 
which is not consistent with the State Implementation Plan for 
air quality (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)). 

2) BLM must ensure that air quality increments estab- 
lished under the Prevention of significant Deterioration (PSD) 
program are not violated and that PSD permitting requirements are 
satisfied. 

B. Discuss management measures to protect water quality and 
wetland habitats in or near all WSAs. 

c. State that non-wilderness designation could adversely im- 
pact air and water quality, whereas wilderness designation could 
benefit air and water quality. 



01 
I 

IO 

6 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 6 



The appropriate sections in Chapter H 
rewritten to reflect your comment. 



of this final EIS have been 



Those projects and activities proposed to occur within the areas not 
recommended for wilderness designation, would have to meet Federal 
and State air quality requirements. With any new proposal or action 
in the future will come site-or-project-speci f ic environmental 
analysis. This would include air and/or water quality effects and 
mitigation measures, if appropriate. 

Water sources within the WSAs, except for the Lahontan Cutthroat 
Trout Natural Area, are extremely limited or nonexistent. Most of 
the sources consist of seeps or springs. During the preparation of 
the Wilderness EIS there were no activities proposed for the WSAs 
that were found to impact either the quantity or quality of the 
water sources as a result of designation or nondesignation. 



5, Water and ai 
action under 
analysi s. 



quality were not issues discussed in the EIS, as no 
designation was of such significance to warrant 



BLM is bound by the same parameters to uphold water and air quality 
whether the area is wilderness or not wilderness. It would be 
presumptuous of this document to state that wilderness would provide 
this <ind of protection as no documentation is available to support 
such a position. 



6-4 



SUMMARY OF RATING DEFINITIONS AND FOLIOv-UP ACTION* 
Environmental Impact of. the Action 



ID — Lack of objections 

The EPA review has not identified any potential environmental impacts requiring 
substantive changes to the proposal. The review may have disclosed opportunities tor 
application of mitigation measures that could be accomplished with no more than minor 
changes to the proposal. 

EC — Environmental Concerns 

The EPA review has identified environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to 
fully protect the environment. Corrective measures may require changes to the preferred 
alternative or application of mitigation measures that can reduce the environmental impact. 
EPA would like to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts. 

EO — Environmental objections 

The EPA review has identified significant environmental impacts that must be avoided in 
order to provide adequate protection for the envirorment. Corrective measures may require 
substantial changes to the preferred alternative or consideration of some other project 
alternative (including the no action alternative or a new alternative). EPA intends to 
work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts. 

EU — Environmentally Unsatisfactory 

The EPA review has identified adverse environmental impacts that are of sufficient magni- 
tude that they are unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality, public 
health or welfare. EPA intends to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts. If 
the potential unsatisfactory impacts are not corrected at the final EIS stage, this 
proposal will be reccnraended for referral to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) . 

Adequacy of the Impact Statement 

Category 1 — Adequate .■.<««»■. 

EPA believes the draft EIS adequately sets forth the environmental lrapact(s) of the 
preferred alternative and those of the alternatives reasonably available to the project or 
action. No further analysis or data collection is necessary, but the reviewer may suggest 
the addition of clarifying language or information. 

Category 2 — Insufficient Information 

The draft EIS does not contain sufficient information for EPA to fully assess environmental 
impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment, or the EPA 
reViewer has identified new reasonably available alternatives that are within the spectrum 
of alternatives analvzed in the draft EIS, which could reduce the environmental impacts of 
the action. The identified additional information, data, analyses, or discussion should be 
included in the final EIS. 



-Inadequate . 

EPA does not believe that the draft EIS adequately assesses potentially significant 



Category 



.mental impacts of the action, or the EPA reviewer has identified new, reasonably 
available alternatives that are outside oE the spectrum oE alternatives analyzed in the 
draft EIS, which should be analyzed in order to reduce the potentially significant environ- 
mental impacts. EPA believes that the identified additional information, data, analyses, or 
discussions are of such a magnitude that they should have full public review at a draft 
stage. EPA does not believe that the draft EIS is adequate for the purposes of the NEPA 
and/or Section 309 review, and thus should be formally revised and made available for public 
comment in a supplemental cr revised draft EIS. Cr, the basis of the potential significant 
impacts involved, this proposal could be a candidate for referral to the CEQ. 

•From: EPA Manual 1640, "Policy and Procedures for the Review of Federal .Actions Impacting 
the Environment." 



7-1 



STATE OF NEVADA 




01 



tt\ 



OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR 

OFFICE OF COMMUNITY SERVICES 

Capital Complex 

Carson City. Nevada 89710 

(702) 885-4420 



September 7, 198 



Mr. Edward F. Spang 

State Director 

Nevada State Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

P.O. Box 12000 

Reno, Nevada 89520-0006 



Re: 



SAI NV #88300013 



Project: Governor's Consensus 

Review - Contiguous Lands 
Wilderness 



Dear Mr . Spang : 



Thank you for the opportuni ty to review the Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement and Preliminary Wilderness Recommendation for 
Nevada Contiguous Lands. 

After careful review of the thirteen Wilderness Study Areas and 
one instant study area, which are analyzed in the draft report, 
the State concurs with the recommendation presented in the docu- 
ment . 



We do 

deser 

three 

Numbe 

prote 

poten 

Vegas 

than 

urge 

prote 

al so 

sand 



ho 

t to 

Wil 

s 1 

cted 

tial 

met 

idea 

the 

ct io 

into 

and 



weve 

rtoi 

dern 

2 

T 

tor 
ropo 
lly 
Bure 
n of 

con 
grav 



wis 
se hab 
ess St 
and 3 
hey ar 

sand 
1 i tan 
su i ted 
au to 

the c 
sidera 
el . 



h to 
itat 
udy 
cont 
e al 
and 
area 
for 
util 
ruci 
t ion 



expre 

in th 
Areas 
a in cr 
so rat 
gravel 
The 

wilde 
ize so 
al tor 

the n 



ss o 
so 
iden 
ucia 
her 
min 

e 

rnes 
me o 
toi s 
eeds 



ur concern about the declining 
uthern part of the State. The 
tified as Fish and Wildlife 
1 tortoise habitat which must be 
small areas and have some 
ing , a growing need in the Las 
actors render these areas less 
s designation. We do, however, 
ther mechanism to ensure the 
e habitat in this area, taking 
of the urban area for access to 



7-2 



Mr . Edward F. Spang 
September 7, 1988 
Page 2 



This constitutes the State's consensus position on this draft 
document. For your information, we have attached additional 
comments prepared by the Nevada Departments of Agriculture and 
Wildlife, the UNR Bureau of Mines, and the Division of Historic 
Preservation/Archeology. We appreciate the opportunity to 
comment and will look forward to seeing your response to our 
concerns. 



Sincerely 




JF/drc 

cc : Governor Richard Bryan 
Roland Westergard, DCNR 
Ely District Manager-BLM 
Las Vegas District Manager-BLM 
Winnerr.ucca District Manager-BLM 



01 
1 
ro 



7-3 

NEVADA STATE CLEARINGHOUSE 



OFFICE OF COMHUHITT SERVICES 

HOD EAST VILLIAM, SUITE 119 

CASSM CITT. NEVADA 89710 

Ba3-5I87 



FROHi John S. Walker, Coordinator 



Qavernor's 0* f Ico 

Community Services 

State Job Training Office 
Administration 
~%t Agriculture 

Economic Development 

Education 

Employment Security Deportmnt 

Human Resources 

Aging Services 

Health Division 

"Legislative Counsel Bureau 



Hucleor Waste Project 01 lice 

PrI sons 
" Pub lie Service Comml sslcn 
" SOtCC 

State Communications Eberd 

Taxation 

To ur I am 

Transportation 

UNR-Bureau of HI nes 

UMR Llbrary-Gov. Publication: 
~ UNR-Oopt. of Range, Wildlife 
and Forestry 

tfl Id Horse Gomml sslon 
" Wildlife 



tonservetton end Natural Resources 

y Director's Office 
y State Lands 

Environmental protection 
y Forestry 

v HI storlc Preservation 
end /rcheotogy 
y y State Parks 

Hater Resources 



3B30Q013 



PROJECT: Draft EIS - Nevada Contiguous Lands BUM 
Wilderness Proposal 



Attached for rev I en and comment Is 

I) the program's effect on your plans and programs; 

wide goals and objectives; and 3) Its accord with any applicable laws, orders or regu 

failllar with. 



evaluate It with respect toi 



opy ot the aforementioned project. PIeoS( 

the Importance of Its contribution to State and/or aree- 
atlons with which you are 



PLEASE SUBMIT TOUR CCttfENTS W LATER TUMI 



S/5/86. 



. Type your comments If applicable, check 
Please do so even If you have no comment on this 



the appropriate box below and return the form to this off To 

project. If you are unable to cement by the prescribed date, please notify this office. Reviewers may substl 

tute this form with agency letterhead. |1 letterhead Is used, please cite the SAI number listed above. 



THIS SECTIOB TO BE COMPLETED BT REVIEWING AGENCTs 

Ho comment on this project 
Proposal supported as written 
~\T Additional Information [see below] 



Conference desired <soe below) 
"v" Conditional support Isee below) 
Disapproval of funding 

{mist specify reason below) 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 7 



1. Marble Canyon - There are three allotments located within the Marble 
Canyon HSA and all of them have allotment management plans (AMPs). 
These allotments are Muncy Creek, Smith Creek and Devil's Gate. 

Lime Canyon - A range allotment evaluation was completed for the 
Gold Butte Allotment (encompassing Lime Canyon HSA) in 1988. An 
allotment management plan (AMP) for the area is scheduled for 
completion in 1990. The AMP will address the portion of the Lime 
Canyon WSA recommended suitable for wilderness designation. This 
portion of the AMP will be prepared in accordance with the 
Wilderness Management Policy . 



OLEMtlHGHOUSE MQlESs 

Upon receipt of your comments, per the deadline, the Clearinghouse, in cooperation 
with State Lands , will request a BLM briefing and will host a consensus meeting 
after the briefing. . . 



ThrrTep C a1^n t ~nTrTc , ul^e^ , u^oTt , s the Draft Wilderness Environment 
Impact Statement with the proposed Action Alternatives except for Marble 
Canyon and Lime Canyon WSAs . Our only objection is the lack of AMFs 
for these WSAs which would insure permanent legal information to the 
permittee regardless of time and transfer. /■,'£- ( 



•'(■ft 



'Vl 



V/C 



lower's Signature 



Regional Coordinator 



486--4&9D 



7/29/88 



01 
I 

M 



7-4 




RICHARD 1 



STATE OF NEVADA 

DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE 

1100 Valley Road 

P.O. Box 10678 

Reno. Nevada 89520-0022 

(702) 789-0500 

August 31, 1988 



Mr. John B. Walker, Coordinator 
State Clearinghouse 
Office of Community Services 
1100 East William, Suite 118 
Carson City, NV 89710 

RE: SAI NV #88300013 

Dear John: 

Thank you for the opportunity to review BLM's Nevada 
Contiguous Lands Wilderness Draft Environmental Impact Statement. 
Our comments on the document follow. 

In general, we support the preferred alternative presented by 
BLH. That is, to recommend portions of the Marble Canyon WSA and 
Lime Canyon WSA for wilderness designation. 

We have some serious concerns for the habitat of the desert 
tortoise in southern Nevada. Designation of the three Fish and 
Wildlife WSA's would protect an area of crucial tortoise habitat. 
We recognize the need for a utility corridor along the highway 
there as well. Moving the WSA boundaries to the west enough to 
accommodate the utility corridor would not leave much of the three 
WSA ' s for inclusion as wilderness . We feel that some form of 
special consideration and protection for the crucial tortoise 
habitat in the area of the three Fish and Wildlife WSA's is 
indicated, however. We would like to see the area west of Highway 
93 receive special management. Perhaps the area west of the 
proposed utility corridor could be given to USFWS for inclusion in 
the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. 

We would like to take this opportunity to commend BLM for 
including statements in the EIS that clarify the ability of 
wildlife managers to develop and maintain wildlife waterers in 
WSA's and future wilderness areas. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 7 



Your support For a Partial Wilderness Al ternati ve recommending a 
portion of Fish and Wildl ife 1 , 2, arid 3 WSAs suitable for 
wilderness designation, prima ri ly for the preservation of crucial 
desert tortoise habitat, has been noted. 



7-B 






Mr. John B. Walker 




August 31, 1988 




Page 2 




If I can provide any additi 




questions, please let me know. 



Sincerely, 

William A. Molini 
Director 



01 
I 

N3 

OS 



FRK:DE:C0P:pw 
cc: Regions 



7-6 
NEVADA STATE CLEARINGHOUSE 



John a. Walker, Coordlnator 



Governor's Of flee 
CaiMnuiltY Services 
State Job Training Of Ilea 

Administration 

y Agriculture 

Economic Development 

Education 

Employment Security Deportment 

Human Resources 

Aging Services 
"Health Division 

legislative Counsel Bureau 
y Minerals 



88300013 



OFFICE OF COHNUHITT SERVICES 

1100 EAST WILLIAM, SDITE 118 

CARSON CITT. RE1A0A 09710 

3B3-5I87 



Nuclear Waste Project Office 


Conservation and Natural Ftesaurc* 


Pr 1 sons 




Pub lie Service Commission 


x DI rector' s Of f 1 ce 


SO ICC 


y State Lands 


State Communications Etoard 


Environmental Protection 


Taxation 


y Forestry 


Tourism 


x HI stortc Preservation 


Transportation 


and Archeology 


v UNR-Bureau of Mines 

UNR Llbrary-Gov. Publications 


Y y State Parks 


Water Resources 


UNR-Dapt. of Range, Wildlife, 








HI Id Horse Co run 1 sslon 




^Wildlife 






project! Draft EIS - Nevada Continuous Lands BLM 


Wilderness Proposal 



Attached for revt b. end ca 



t Is a copy of the aforementioned project. Please ..elmta 1+ »lth respect to! 
ll'tto prc^r en's".! feet o. your plans and progre*,, 2] tl. Importance of lt« contribution to Stat, and/or area- 
.Id. goals and objectives; and 3) Its accord .It. any applicable Ia«s. orders or reflations «lth .hlch you ara 



' goa 
f mil liar with. 



~% . Type your comments Tf applicable, check 

tn7^prlpr'l"ate7ox"bela- and return the form to this office. Please do so even tf you have no comment on this 



PLEASE SUBMIT TOUR COHtQffS HO LATSl TRW 

the appropriate box below and return 
project. It you are unable to common 
tute this form xlth agency letterhead 



protect. It you ara unable to t ».t by the prescribed date, pleas, notify til. office. R>vle»ers m, sfbstl- 

• ettorheed Is used, ploaso cite tho SAI nur.ber listed above. 



THIS SECIIOH TO BE COHPLETTa) Bl REYIEHIIIG MEHCT: 

No coorasnt on this project 
Proposal supported as written 
Additional Information (see below) 



Conference deslrad (see below) 
Conditional support (see below) 
"Disapproval of funding 

(rust specify reason below) 



cuEMisanusE kotesi 

upon receipt of your contents, per the deadline, the clearinghouse , in cooperation 
with State Lands, will request a BIM briefing and will host a consensus meeting 
after the briefing. _ 



ACEHCr CCtWHTS: Co 



M 



i add! t tow I stoerts. If -wceasajryl 



SVe* <=* r?**c vf<7 $<tec T. 



J^l 



SlgntrVure 



(j~?€ < * / &=*-sS f 



sU/3f>7& 



yf^'66?/ 



Cote 



7-7 



I 

[V) 

(0 



June 29, 19 



TO: John Walker 

Office of Community Services 

FROM: J. V. Tingley 



SUBJECT: 



SAI J88300013 
□raft EIS - Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness Proposal 



Non-wilderness designation is recommended by the BLH for 12 of the 14 
areas described in this EIS. This designation will not affect 
utilization of the mineral potential of the areas and I support the BLM 
position. 

The BLH has recommended partial wilderness designation for the two 
remaining areas, Marble Canyon (NV-O40-O86) in White Pine County, and 
Lime Canyon (NV-050-231) in Clark County. 

Marble Canyon: The area recommended for wilderness is the southeastern 
portion of the original WSA and excludes areas of high and moderate 
mineral potential shown on the BLM-generated mineral potential map 1n 
section 3 of the EIS. This map and the discussions of mineral potential 
in the text, however, only address potential for marble. There are 
indications that the southeastern part of the WSA may have potential for 
undiscovered metallic mineral resources. Work in the J. S. Forest 
Service Mount Moriah Roadless Area, immediately south of the BLM WSA, 
outl ined an area of moderate mineral potential for lead and zinc which 
may project north into the BLM area. This area of the Snake Range 1s 
geologically complex and is the site of both thrust and detachment 
faulting. These structures have been proven in other areas to be 
favorable for deposition of precious metal deposits. Undiscovered 
deposits of lead, zinc, and precious metals could be concealed beneath 
thrust faults and younger rocks within the portion of the WSA recommended 
for wilderness designation. 

Lime Canyon: The Mineral Favorability map prepared by the BLM (included 
at the end of section 3 of the EIS) indicates that the entire area has 
moderate mineral favorability for nonmetalUc minerals. The proximity of 
known mineral resources to the boundary of the recommended suitable 
portion of the WSA indicates that valuable resources may exist within the 
recommended area. 



HESPONSE TO LETTER 7 



Marble Canyon - The IJSGS/Bureau of Mines mineral report has yet to 
be finalized and received by the BLM. The boundary recommendations 
in the draft EIS are preliminary and will be reassessed upon receipt 
of the final mineral report and substantive comments >-eceived during 
the public comment period. 

Lime Canyon - The USGS/Bureau of Mines comprehensive minerals report 
will be reviewed and considered before the final recommendation for 
the Lime Canyon WSA is made. 



7-» 
NEVADA STATE CLEARINGHOUSE 



jutus wad 



'ty 



OFFICE OF COHHUHITT SERVICES 

1100 EAST VILLIAH. SO I IE 119 

CAR 5 OH CITT. BEVADA B9710 

BB5-5187 



John 8. Walker, toordtnator 

(jtulafeH* ' 1 & 
EMW 

(tovernor's Office 

Ccm«.tnlt> Services 

State Job Training Of flea 
Administration 
v AgrTcul ture 

Econoralc Development 

Education 

Employment Security Oopflr+mont 

Human Resources 

Agl ng Sarvlcfis 

hsalth Division 

legislative Counsel Bureau 



Ic'f.ivinHvoVtan 

Nucloor Waste Project Office 
Pr I sons 
" Pub lie Service Comml salon 



a icc 



Icatlons Board 



State Co mi 
Taxation 

Tour Ian 

Transportation 
" UNR-Qureau of Ml nes 
" UNR Ubrary-Gov. publications 
~ UNfv-Oept. of Range. Wildlife, 
and Forestry 

W Id Horse Count sslon 
" Ml I d M i o 



Conservation and Natural Resources 

■v Director's Office 
v State Lands 

Environmental Protection 
X Forestry 
. .y HI storlc preservation 
and Archeology 
y v State Parks 

Water Resources 



7-fl 



STATE OF NEVADA 



I 

© 



Draft EIS - Kev^ ^' contiguous Lands BLM 
Wilderness Proposal 



Attached for review and cement Is a copy of the a foremantloned project. Please evaluate It with respect to: 
O the progr*- 5 effact on yo*- ,l.n. end progress; 2. the Importance of Its contrition to S ate and or area- 
vide B a.l9 snd objectives; and 31 Its accord with any applicable laws, orders or regulations with which you are 
farlitar with. 



PLEASE SUBMIT TOUR COMMENTS » LATER THAU 



. Type your comments If applicable, check 
please do so even If y°« navo no c minsn+ ofl tnls 



the appropriate box below and return the torn to W.- - 

project. If you are unable to c«,-nt by the prescribed date, please notify this office, ^viewers M y substl 

tut. th!s for. with agency letterhead. If letterhead Is used, pteese cite the SAI number listed above. 



THIS SECTIOH TO BE COWLETED BT REVIEMIW AGENCY: 

No content on this project 
Proposal supported as written 
Additional Information (see balow) 



Conference desired (see below] 
"additional support (see belowl 
Disapproval of finding 

(must specify reason belowl 



5S5p555S mqtesi 

Upon receipt of your cxmrents, per the deadline, the Clearinghouse, in cooperation 
with State Lands , will request a BTJ4 briefing and will host a consensus meeting 
after the briefing. - — 



AGEHCr COKNTS: (na eodltlo 



Please see attached memorandum. 



»sar7> 



ftHC j ; - isrs 



(1/us/n &Je^ 



Staff Archeologiat 



(702) 885-5138 8/2/88 



Reviewer's Signature 




DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES 

DIVISION OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ARCHEOLOGY 

201 5. Fall Street 

Capitol Complex 

Caraon City. Nevada 89710 

(70Z) 8S5.513B 

August 2, 1988 



MEMORANDUM 



John Walker, Office of Community Services 



logist C#~ 



/r> 



%A, 



TO: 

THROUGH: Pam Wilcox, State Lands 

FROM: Mice M. Becker, Staff Archeo 

SUBJECT: Draft EIS - Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness Proposal 
SAI NVJJB8300013 

The National Register of Historic Places has been checked; 
properties listec? on the Register are not located «ithi" a"y °f 
the areas discussed. Unfortunately, as has been repeatedly 
pointed out by this office, very little information on the nature 
of cultural, historic and archeological properties exists in 
areas considered for wilderness in Nevada. Therefore the 
effects of designation or non-consideration on historic 
properties cannot be accessed. 

The Division recommends that any proposals for wilderness or 
nartial wilderness designation contain stipulations for 
archeological and historic inventories to identify such 
nroMrties Further, Native Americans with interests in these 
areas should be interviewed to determine whether conflicts exist 
under the provisions of the American Indian Religious Freedom 
Act. 
If you have any questions regarding these comments please call 

US. 

AMB/ab 



01 
I 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 7 



The BtM's wilderness study process did not initiate an automatic 
survey of prehistoric and historic cultural resources. Neither do 
the Wilderness Study Areas gain priority funding for survey and 
recordation. Cultural resource priorities, surveys/inventories, and 
sensitivities would be addressed in the Wilderness Management Plans 
developed for areas designated as wilderness. 

The Nevada Contiguous Lands Draft Wilderness EIS was sent to the 
following Native American councils with no response: 

Intertribal Council of Nevada 
Winnemucca Indian Colony 
Ely Indian Colony 
Ft. Mojave Tribal Council 
Las Vegas Tribal Council 
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe 
Moapa Paiute Tribal Council 



7-10 

RICHARD H- BRYAN 



STATE OF NEVADA 



RICHARD L. REYBURN 




DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS 

400 W King Slicet. Suite 106 

Carson Clly. Nevada 89710 

1702} 885-5050 

NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT E.I.S. HEARING - PUBLIC TESTIMONY 
August 3,1988 



The Nevada Department of Minerals appreciates the opportunity to comment 
on the Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness Draft Environmental Impact Statement. 

The Department of Minerals supports the B.L.M. in its decision to withdraw 
the following wilderness study areas from further wilderness consideration : 

Fish and Wildlife Numbers 1,2, and 3 
Million Hills 
Garrett Buttes 
Quail Springs 
El Dorado 
Ireteba Peaks 
Jumbo Springs 
Nellis ABC 
and Evergreen ABC. 

All of the above-mentioned WSA's have sufficient mineral resource potential 
to warrant being left open for possible exploration and development. The El 
Dorado and Ireteba Peaks WSA's are adjacent to the El Dorado (Nelson) and 
Searchlight mining districts, where significant gold and silver mining has 
occurred. Jumbo Springs also has potential for precious metals. 

Portions of Clark County, as well as other areas in Nevada, have been 
targetted for energy resource exploration due to favorable geologic features. 
Fish and Wildlife No. 1 and Evergreen ABC have oil and gas potential, while 
Quail Springs and Nellis ABC have geothermal energy potential. 

Fish and Wildlife Numbers 1, 2, and 3, Quail Springs, and Nellis ABC all 
have sand and gravel potential. As sand and gravel operations in Las Vegas 
are shut down due to depletion or encroachment by urban areas, some of these 
outlying deposits may be utilized. 

As the minerals industry is the second largest industry in the state, and 
as Nevada is a leading mining state, resource potential must be addressed when 
considering the management of public lands. It is the responsibility of the 
Nevada Department of Minerals to advocate the responsible development of the 
state's mineral and energy resources. The Department recommends the multiple- 



STATE OF NEVADA 
DEPARTMENT OF MBWAL8 

Lat v*gts Offtc* 

State MM Comptex 

Las VeQM, Nmada 89168 



7-11 

RICHARD H. BRYAN 



STATE OF NEVADA 




01 



CO 



DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS 

400 W. King Street. Suite 106 

Carson City, Nevada 89710 

(702) 885-5050 

NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT E.I.S. HEARING - PUBLIC TESTIMONY 
August 3, 1988 

Page 2 

use concept for public lands where significant resource potential exists. 
Therefore, the Nevada Department of Minerals supports the B.L.M. in its 
decisions on the Nevada Contiguous Lands wilderness study areas. 



Respectfully submitted; 

Walter S. Lombardo 

Consultant 

Las Vegas Office 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 7 

7. Support of the Proposed Action for the Draft EIS has been noted. 



STATE OF NEVADA 
DEPARTMENT OP MINERALS 

Lbs Vegas Office 

State Mai Complex 

Las Vegas, Nevada B9168 



01 

I 

CO 

CO 



TEBEAU PIQUET 
SAMMYEUGALDE 



. Humboldt' County 

jard of Commissioners 



TONYA PEARSON 

WnWrtnfci AaUtsrt 

COURTHOUSE 
WINNEMOCCA. 
NEVADA 69445 
[702)623-6300 



September 8, 19B8 



Janaye Byergo, 

EIS Team Leader 

P.O. Box 26569 

Las Vegas, NV 89126 

The Humboldt County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled 
meeting of September 8 , 1988 , discussed the Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement Preliminary Wilderness Recommendation for Nevada 
Contiguous Lands that was prepared by the Department of the 
Interior Bureau of Land Management. The Board felt that they 
should address the Lahontan Cutthroat Natural Area (ISA.) , and 
agreed with the recommendation that this area should not be 
designated a Wilderness area. 

The Board based their decision on the fact that there is a large 
amount of deeded land in this particular area , the fact that it 
borders the Summit Lake Indian Reservation , and the fact that 
being designated a wilderness area could eliminate some access to 
the Lahontan Cutthroat Habitat, which is the last of two such 
fisheries. The Board also expressed their concern about the 
elimination of the line camps for cowboys and hunters in this 
area, the concern about the wi Id horses throughout the area, and 
the cost to police the area should it be designated a wilderness 
area. 

The Board would again concur with the recommendations of the 
Bureau of Land Ma nay erne nt in their assessment of this area , and 
would like to thank you for the opportunity to address this 

matter. 



Sincerely , 



■) ' 

Tebeau Piquet, Vace Chairman 
Humboldt County Commissioners 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 8 



Your support for the Draft EIS' s Proposed Action has been noted, 
especially for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout ISA. 



9-1 




WESTERS SKDSHOHE WTIOKAl COUNCIL 
1.1. Mn 

tuckwater, Sevaia !5SH 

amm-mi 



In 186=5 the United Sttstes entered into a solemn Treaty of 
F>eace "fmd friendship with the Western Shoshone »^ion. .he 
Treaty or ihiby tfalley reco.-nizes t;ie existence of the .cstern 
Shoshone Motion and its riant to occupy its ancestral lands 
i„ 'in«-Jn This Treatv has never teen violated oy tie sestern 
Snosho™ i%tior., and It has never been .abrogated by the Jja ted 
States. The 'I'reaty does not cede any itexen bhoslione tantts 
to the United States. 

Title to Western Shoshone ancestral lands has never been legal- 
IfextinrnisWd. -he attempt to establish a wilderness area 
within "'prtPir Shoshone territory by any agency of the United 
Spates federal government is premature. Should you wish to 
l.nrond ,„it„ yoiir nlsns to establish this wilderness area Witlixn 
V tnl 7 e l^~» Rl.osJ.one ancestral home lands, r.ootact the real 



tiers of 



lin If 



the '.Vestern Shoshone 



ntion. 



Submitted "y : 

Western Shoshone national Council 



Utaciiucnts: luby Valley Preats 
'.'es tern Shoshone . 



9-2 

Treaty of Ruby 

Valley 1863 

Treaty between the United States of American and the 
Western Bands of Shoshone Indians. Concluded October L 
1863: Radification advised, with amendment, June 26, 1866; 
Amendmentassented to June 17, 1868; Proclaimed October 
21, 1869 

ULYSSES S. GRANT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED 
STATES OF AMERICA, TO ALL AND SINGULAR TO 
WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, 
GREETINGS: 

Whereas a Treaty was made and concluded at Ruby Valley, 
in the Territory of Nevada, on the first day of October, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
by and between James W. Nye and James Duane Doty, Com- 
missioners, on the part of the United States, and Te-moak, 
Mo-hn-a, Kirk-weedgwa, To-nag, and other Chiefs. Principal 
Men, and Warriors of the Western Bands of the Shoshonee 
Nation of Indians, on the part of said bands of Indians, and 
duly authorized thereto by them, which Treaty is in the 
words and figures following to wit: 

Treaty ofPeaceandFriendshipmade at Ruby Valley, in the 
Territory of Nevada, this first day of October, A.D. one thou- 
sand eight hundred and sixty-three, between the United 
States of America, represented by the undersigned Com- 
missioners, and the Western Bands of the Shoshonee Nation 
of Indians, represented by their Chiefs and Principal Men 
and Warriors as follows: 

ARTICLE I 
Peace and friendship shall be hereafter established and 
maintained between the Western Bands of the Shoshonena- 
tion and the people and Government of the United States ; 
and the said bands stipulate and agree that hostilities and 
all dependations upon the emigrant trains, the mail and 
telegraph lines, and upon the citizens of the United Slates 
within their country, shall cease. 

ARTICLE II. 

The several routes of travel through the Shoshonee coun- 
try, how or hereafter used by the while men , shall be forever 
free, and unobstructed by all emigrants and travelers under 
its authority and protection, without molestation or injury 
from them . And if depredations are at any time committed 
by bad men of their nation, the offenders shall be immediate- 
ly taken and delivered up to the proper officers of the United 
States, to be punished as their offences shall deserve ; and 
the safety of all travellers passing peaceably over either said 
routes is herehy guaranteed by said bands. 

Military posts may be established by the President of the 
United States along said routes or elsewhere in their coun- 
try; and station houses may be erected and occupied alsuch 
points as may be necessary for the eomforl and convenience 
of travellers or for the mail or telegraph companies. 

ARTICLE III. 
The telegraph and overland stage lines having been 
24 establishedand operated by companies under the aulhuri- 



ly or the United Stales through a part of the Shoshonee coun- 
try, it is expressly agreed that the same may be continued 
without hinderance, moles tation,orinjury from the people 
of said bands, and that their property and the lives and pro- 
perty of passengers in the stages and of the employees of 
the respective companies, shall be protected by them. And 
further, it being understood that provision has been made 
by thegovernmenloftheUnitedStatesfor the construction 
of a railway from the plains west to the Pacific ocean, it is 
stipulated by said bands that the said railway or its bran- 
ches may be located, constructed, and operated, and without 
molestation from them, through any portion of country 
claimed or occupied by them. 

ARTICLE IV. 
It is further agreed by the parties hereto, that the 
Shoshoneee country may be explored and prospected for 
gold and silver, or other minerals; and when mines are 
discovered, they may be worked, and mining and 
agricultural settlementsformed, and ranches established 
whenever they may be required. Mills may be erected and 
timber taken for their use, as also for building or other pur- 
poses in any part of the country claimed by said bands 

ARTICLE V. 

It is understood thai the boundaries of the country claimed 
and occupied by said bands are defined and described by 
ihem as follows: 

On the north by Wong-goga-da Mountains and Shoshonee 
River Valley; on the west by Su-non-to-yah Mountains or 
SmithCreekMountains;onthesoulhby Wi-co-bahand the 
Colorado Desert, on the east by Po-ho-no-be Valley or Step- 
toe Valley and Great Salt Lake Valley. 

ARTICLE VI. 
The said bands agree that whenever the President of the 
United Slates all deem it expedient lor them lo abandon the 
roaming life, which they now lead, and become herdsmen 
or agriculturalists, he is hereby authorized to make such 
reservations forlheiruseashemaydeem necessary within 
the country above described: and theydoalso hereby agree 
to remove their camps lo such reservations as he may in- 
dicate, and to reside and remain therein. 

ARTICLE VII. 
The United States, being aware of the inconvenience 
resulting to the Indians in consequence of the drivingaway 
and destruction of gamealong the routes travelled by while 
men, and by the formation of agricultural and mining set- 
tlements, are willing lo fairly compensate Ihem for the 
same, therefore , and in consideration of the proceeding 
stipulations, and of their faithlul observance by the said 
bands, the United Stales promise and agree to pay to the said 
bands of the Shoshonee nation parlies herein, annually for 
the term of twenty year's the sum of five thousand dollars 
in such articles, including caltle for herding or other pur- 
poses, as the President of the Uniled Stales shall deem 
suitable for their wants and condition, either as hunters or 
herdsmen. And the said bands hereby acknowledge the 
reception of the said stipulated annuities as ji fullcompen- 



w 



9*3 

TREATY CONT. . . 

sationand equivalent for the loss of game and the rights and 
privileges hereby conceded. 

ARTICLE VIII. 
Thesaid bands hereby acknowledge that they have recei v- 
edfrom said commissioners provisions and clothing amoun- 
ting to thousand dollars as presents at the conclusion 
of this treaty. 
Done at Ruby Valley the day and year above written. 

JAMEW. NYE 

JAMES DUANE DOTY 

TE-MOAK 

MO-HO-A 

KIRK-WEEDGWA 

TO-NAG 

TO-SO-WEE-SO-OP 

SOW-ER-E-GAH 

PO-ON-GO-SAH 

PAR-A-WOAT-ZE 

GA-HA-DIER 

KO-RO-KOUT-ZE 

PON-GE-MAH 

BUCK 
Witnesses: 

J.B. MORE, Lt. Col. 3rd INf. Cal. Vol. 
JACOB T. LCOKHART, Indian Agent Nev. Iter. 
HENRY BUTTERFIELD, Interpreter 

And whereas, the said Treaty having been submitted to 
the Senate of the United States for its constitutional action 
thereon, the Senate did, ontnetwenty-sixthdayof June, one 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, advise and consent 
to the ratification of the same, with an amendment, by a 
resolution in the words and figures following, to wit: 

IN EXECUTIVE SESSION SENATE OF THE 
UNITED STATES. 

June 26, 1866. 
Resolved, ( two-thirds of the Senators present concurring; ) 
That the Senate advise and consent to the ratification of the 
Treaty ofpeace and friendship made at Ruby Valley, inthe 
Territory of Nevada, the first day of October, AJ>. one thou- 
sand eight hundred and sixty-three, between the United 
Slates of America, represented by the Commissioners, and 
the Western Bands of the Shoshonee Nation of Indians, 
represented by their Chiefs and Princi pal Menand Warriors, 
with the (allowing 



AMENDMENT: 
Fill the blank in the 8lh article with the word five. 
Attest; 

J.W.FORNEY 
Secretary 

And whereas, the foregoing amendment having been ful- 
ly explained and interpreted to the undersigned Chiefs, Prin- 
cipal Men, and Warriors of the Western Bands of the 
Shoshonee Nation of Indians, they did, on the sevenleeth day 
of June, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, give 
their free and voluntary assent to the said amendment, in 
the words and figures following, to wit : 

Whereas the Senate of the United States, in executive ses- 
sion, did advise and consent to the ratification of the Trea- 
ty of peace and friendship, made at Ruby Valley, in Ihe Ter- 
ritory of Nevada, on the first day of October, one thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-three, by the Commissioners on the 
pari of the United States and the Western Bands of the 
Shoshonee Nation of Indians, represented by their Chiefs 
and Principal Men and Warriors, with the following 
amendment: 

"Fill in the blank in the 8th article with the word five." 

And whereas the foregoing amendment has been fully in- 
terpreted and explained to the undersigned Chiefs and Prin- 
cipal Men and Warriors of the aforesaid Western Band of 
the Shoshonee Nation of Indians, we do hereby agree and 
assent to the same. 

Done at Ruby Valley, Nevada, on this 17th day of June, 
A.D., 1869. 

Attesl: J.H. DAWLEY TIM-OOK 

R.B. SCOTT BUCK 

W.R. REYNOLDS FRANK 

LOUIS GRINNEL, Interpreter TO-NAG 

Now, therefore, be it known that 1, ULYSSES S. GRANT, 
President of the United States of America, do, in pursuance 
of the advice and consent of the Senate, as expressed in its 
resolution of the twenty-sixth of June, one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-six, accept, ratify, and confirm thesaid 
Treaty, with the amendment aforesaid. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereto signedmy name, and 
have caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-first day of Oc- 
tober, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
andsixly-nine. and of the Independence of the United States 
of America the ninety-fourth. 

U.S. GRANT 
By the President: 
HAMILTION FISH 
Secretary of the State 



25 



9-4 



WESTERN 

SHOSHONE 

LANDS 



WESTERN 
SHOSHONE 
NATIONAL 

COUNCIL 




RESPONSE TO LETTER 9 

Your comment is appreciated and has been noted. 



W 
0> 



10 



•BEST IN «PHE •DESEIVT 



RACING ASSOCIATION 



Bureau of Land Management 
Nevada Contiguous Lands EIS 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 

Attention.: Janaye Byergo 

Dear EIS Manager : 

What a superb draft document for wilderness- The proposed 
action for the El Dorado WSA will exclude the existing race 
courses from further study. This will enable us to resume 
our past use of this very important corridor. 

Wilderness is a management tool useful where multiple use 
will benefit from this designation. Those areas which are still 
wild and those areas with unique qualities and resources may be 
better managed with wilderness designation. Those portions of 
Lime Canyon and Marble Canyon appear to have those qualities. 
Best in the Desert notes the wildneas of the river drainage side 
of El Dorado and Ireteba Peaks but believe proper management will 
bs accomplished with your proposed action. This same confidence 
is expressed in your proposed action on Million Hills, Garrett 
Buttes and Jumbo Springs . 

Fish and Wildlife 1,2, & 3, Evergreen, Nellis, and Quail 
Springs do not have any wilderness qualifications. Any further 
study of these lands would be a waste of taxpayer money. 

This draft EIS is accurate, well balanced and unbiased. 
The evaluation of our public lands with the goal of proper 
management is often lost in the boisterous and slanted rhetoric 
of the opposing philosophical ideals. Those that argue from a 
polemic position do a disservice to these, our public lands. 
I often read the mindless attacks against any wilderness. 
These actions are answered by the arm chair environmentalist 
whose approaches wilderness with a religious zeal. It was 
refreshing to read, in this draft EIS/ actions proposed on 
examination of the facts. Wilderness designation should be 
a management tool, not an issue. The preparers of this document 
are true public servants. They all deserve our congratulations. 




3475C BOULDER HWY., • LAS VEGAS, NV 89121 ■ (702) 457-5775 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 10 

Support of the Proposed Action for the Draft EIS has been noted. 



■ 

CO 



11-1 THE l^— 

DESERT TORTOISE COUNCIL 




53I9 Cerritos Avenue 

Long Bach. California TOJM5 



Mr. Edward F. Spang, State Director 
U.S. Bureau of Land Management 
P.O. Box 12000 
Reno, Nevada 89520 



Dear Mr. Spang: 

The Desert Tortoise Council (DTC) has reviewed the Nevada 
Contiguous Lands Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
and has found that several of the proposed actions in that 
document are not consistent with State and Federal goals for the 
protection and management of desert tortoises. 

The desert tor 
501.110, 501.1 
species in the 
Bureau of Land 
Wildlife. In 
Service (USFWS 
throughout its 
were the prima 
species accord 
accompanied th 
i ssued a f indi 
its range is w 
of higher prio 



toise is protected by State law in Nevada ( NRS 
"1, NAC 503.080) and is listed as a sensitive 
Master Memorandum of Understanding between the 
Management (BLM) and the Nevada Department of 
September of 1984 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 

was petitioned to list the species as endangered 
range. Disruption and loss of suitable habitat 
ry factors contributing to the decline of this 
ing to the supporting documentation which 
e petition. On September 18, 19B5, the USFWS 
ng that "listing of the desert tortoise throughout 
arranted, but precluded by other pending proposals 
rity". 

According to BLM Manual 6840 - Threatened and Endangered 
Wildlife, Section 6840.31 - Basic Intent, "It is the intent of 
the sensitive animal concept to recognize species that clearly 
merit special attention in BLM planning and decision-making 
processes.* 1 This section goes on the say that the fundamental 
objective of developing a list of sensitive species is, "to 
maintain or increase current population levels of sensitive 
animals through early habitat protection or enhancement. In such 
cases, effective and aggressive programs will help to minimize 
the chance of official listing of the animals...". 



11-2 Edward Spang 



«1 
I 

W 
f» 



-2- 



August 18, 1966 



Clearly, the proposed actions outlined in the Draft Wilderness 
Environmental^mpact Statement, dated June 8, ""«re contrary 
to this identified BLM management objective. In particular, the 
proposals not to designate any of the four proposed wilderness 
areas in the Coyote Springs Valley (i.e. Fish and Wildlife 1 - 2 
and Evergreen ABC) are Inexcusable. If these actions were to 
proceed as proposed according to the EIS, this would result in 
the direct destruction of 2501 acres of crucial desert tortoise 
habitat and "adverse impacts" would occur on 44,603 acres of 
crucial tortoise habitat. Obviously, the BLM can't hope to meet 
its stated objective of maintaining or increasing current 
population levels under this proposed set of actions. In tact, 
identical statements occur in the EIS under each of these 
Proposed actions which state that each of these actions "would 
create a serious habitat fragmentation of the last stronghold for 
the Las Vegas/Coyote Springs Valley desert tortoise gene pool 
This fragmentation of habitat could, over the long-term, result 
in the loss of this crucial population... Long-term negative 
impacts to- the desert tortoise population could occur under the 
proposed action". Again, it seems perfectly °b«°«= that the 
proposed actions are contrary to BLH's official objective for 
managing sensitive species through "«««tive and »|9«!»« 
programs (which) will help to minimize the chance of official 
listing 



s for these four areas, 

11 be a direct loss Df 

quantified in the EIS, but of 

tat fragmentation and 

lis loss of habitat. The 

disturbance is bound to 
rness designation doesn't 
any of the areas being 
multiple use mandates 
icy and Management Act 
approach its objectives for 



Under the All wilderness Alternative 
according to the EIS, there will sti 
habitat of at least 412 acres. Not 
some importance, is the ensuing habi 
disturbance which would accompany th 
fact that this much habitat loss and 
occur attests to the fact that wilde 
preclude multiple use management in 
considered and easily complies with 
provided for in the Federal Land Pol 
(FLPMA) while still allowing BLM to 
protecting sensitive species. 

The proposed action for no wilderness in the Million Hill 
is similarly contrary to BLM policy for the management o£ 
sensitive species. The conclusions for both the proposed 
and Alternative A - Partial wilderness - state that, an 
estimated 20 acres out of the WSA's 1800 acres of crucial 
tortoise habitat would be lost to projected oil and gas 
exploration and increased cross country motorized vehicle 
The conclusion listed under the "impacts on crucial deser 
tortoise habitat" section for the all wilderness alternat 
states that, "Designation of the WSA would enhance the pr 
of the 1800 acres of crucial desert tortoise habitat . r 
alternative is consistent with the stated policy to manag 
sensitive species "to maintain or increase current popula 
levels ..through early habitat protection and enhancement 



s area 

action 

desert 

use" . 
t 

ive 

otection 
his 
e 
tion 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 11 



The Environmental Impact Statement is an analytical document 
designed to provide Managers with a tool for managing multipel uses 
on the public lands. Therefore, the most reasonably foreseeable 
impacts were identified and analyzed in the Draft EIS. The 
management actions identified in the Draft EIS may or may not occur 
within the Wilderness Study Areas. With any new proposal or action 
in the future will come site-specific, population-specific and 
individual on-the-ground management actions which would he addressed 
and developed in individual site-specific activity plans, such as 
Habitat Management Plans for wildlife, Allotment Management Plans 
for livestock, ACEC Management Plans for special areas, etc. The 
analysis would include sensitive species effects and mitigation 
measures. 

The BLM recognizes the sensitivity of the desert tortoise and has 
taken many positive actions to preserve and protect this species 
within the framework of multiple-use management. Host recently, the 
Bureau of Land Management has adopted a four State (Nevada, Utah, 
California, and Arizona) rangewide plan for desert tortoise habitat 
management on the public lands ("Desert Tortoise Habitat Management 
On The Public Lands: A Rangewide Plan"). This Rangewide Plan 
provides objectives and management actions to be used by the Bureau 
to improve the status of the tortoise on public lands. The 
Rangewide Plan sets a stage for planning, research, awareness; and 
public and constituent coordination and cooperation. The Rangewide 
Plan however, allows each participating State to address their 
specific management problems and resource conflicts through the 
development of state-level desert tortoise habitat management 
implementation strategies/plans. 



en 
I 
Co 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 11 



As defined in the Multiple Use and Classification Act of 1964 (P.L. 
08-607), "multiple use" constitutes a "use of some of the land for 
less than all of the resources". Under the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976, wilderness preservation is part of BLM's 
multiple-use mandate, and wilderness values are recognized as part 
of the spectrum of resource values and uses to be considered in the 
inventory and land-use planning process. In keeping with this 
comcept, the Wilderness Management Policy allows for specific 
actions to occur and the utilization of certain resources within the 
designated wilderness areas while restricting other uses in order to 
insure the protection of the wilderness resource. Thus, "multiple 
use management" allows BLM to di scriminately utilize and protect the 
numerous resources and features that exist on public lands through a 
variety of designations, plans and protective efforts. 

The projected loss of tortoise habitat under the All Wilderness 
Alternative for the three WSAs would come about only if the Nevada 
Deoartment of Transportation chooses to exercise their "Valid 
Existing Rights" for identified sand and gravel material sites. 
Under the Wilderness Management Policy , "Valid Existing Rights or 
private rights exi sting as bT the date an area was designated as 
wilderness will be recognized." 



11-3 



Edward Spaing 



August 18, 19B8 



The stated purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) which required the preparation of this EIS is, "To declare 
a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable 
harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which 
will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere 
and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the 
understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources 
important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on 
Environmental Duality". Furthermore, in Section 102 of NEPA, 
Federal agencies are directed that, "the policies, regulations, 
and public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and 
administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this 
Act". If BLM's policy for the management of sensitive species' 
habitats does not provide sufficient guidance to mandate the 
protection of the areas discussed above, it seems that this 
national policy in conjunction with BLM policy surely must. 

Although NEPA allows for a certain amount of environmental damage 
to occur where the benefits to man are substantial, the 
information presented in this EIS contains no economic analysis 
or other justification for these proposed actions. It is implied 
that the mere potential, no matter how remote, for the discovery 
of minerals in these areas, and an unquantified and unproven 
demand for motorized recreation in these areas is enough to 
nullify BLM's commitment, clearly outlined in BLM policy, to 
protect and enhance sensitive species' habitat. We believe that 
if the BLM chooses this course of action, then it will be in 
violation of the mandate quoted above which requires that all BLM 
policies be interpreted and administered in accordance with 
policies set forth in NEPA. 

The DTC hereby requests that all the "All wilderness 
Alternatives" be adopted in the five areas discussed in this 
letter. If the BLM chooses not to adopt this course of action, 
we expect a full explanation of how this apparent circumvention 
of BLM policy and a Congressionally mandated national policy can 
possibly be justified. An explanation is certainly to contained 
in the EIS. 

We look forward to your reply. We request a response to the 
above as soon as possible. 

Sincerely, 



Glenn Stewart 
Board of Directors 



Defenders of Wildlife 

Wilderness Society 

NRDC 

Jayne Byergo 

Karla Kramer - USFWS 

DTC Board members 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 11 



The purpose of the EIS, as defined in NEPA, is to "provide full and 
fair di scussion of significant environmental impacts and shall 
inform decisionmakers and the public of reasonable alternatives..." 
"It shall be used by Federal Officers in conjunction with other 
relevant materials to plan actions and make decisions". [p. 10 CEQ 
Regulations - 40 CFR 1500-1500} 

As this EIS is an analytical document, the rationale for the 
decisions will not be addressed. The rational for the final 
decisions wi 1 1 be written into the "Record of Deci sion", which in 
the case of Wilderness is the Wilderness Study Report that will be 
signed by the Secreatry of the Interior. 



12 



FREEPORT-McMoRan 



GOLD COMPANY 

A Sufisrtory o/FraspwI-UcMoflan Inc 



6110 Plumas Street 

P. O. Box 41 330 

Reno, Nevada 89504 

Phone (702) 826-3000 

TWX 91 0-395-7008 

FAX |702] 826-7902 



July 11, 1988 



Mr. Ed Spang 

State Director, Nevada 

Bureau of Land Management 

Nevada State Office 

P.O. Box 12000 

Reno, NV 89520 

Dear Mr. Spang: 

This letter is in response to the Nevada Contiguous Lands 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued in June, 1988. 

The Lime Canyon WSA (NV-050-231) has 13, 895 acres 
recommended as suitable for wilderness designation. Freeport is 
currently exploring in the area and has discovered gold potential 
in and near the pre-cambrian exposures. Mineralization may be 
related to detachment surfaces which have recently been 
recognized as economically significant for gold production. 

We would request that the entire area be dropped from 
consideration for wilderness and be reclassified as unsuitable. 

If we can supply you with further information about the 
area, please contact me at the above address. 



Sincerely, 



mtw-to. \x-M 



Marsha L. Berkbigler 
Government Affairs Coordinator 

MLB : j re 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 12 



The U.S. Geological Survey will prepare a comprehensive, detailed, 
joint report with the Bureau of Mines on the irineral resource 
potential within the recommended suitable portion of the Lime Canyon 
WSA. This report wi 1 1 he revi ewed arid considered he fore a final 
recommendation for the Lime Canyon WSA is made. 



en 

i 



13 



RECEIVED 



Gamblers H/C Club 
SB6G Maverick 
Lns Vegas, Nevada 
S9130 

September 16th, 198S 



:ycle racing 
i old. The 
wilderness 
Act of 



Bureau of Land Management 
Nevada Contiguous Lands SIS 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89L08 

Subject: Draft Nevada Contiguous Linda Wilderness EIS 

Dear Ms Ja naye Dyer go • 

The Gamblers Motorcycle Club is an off-road motori 
club with 35 members ranging in age from 10 to 62 year: 
belief of our club is that those lands recommended for 
designation should reflect the intention of the Wildert 
1964. There is wording in the act that we feel have often 
neglected. Section 2, part (b) states that lands selected '"...shall 
continued to be managed...", while section 2, part [a) notes that 
these lands "...shall be administered foe the use and enjoyment of 
the American people..." with the caveat in part (b] that there should 
be no appropriations for additional personnel "... solely for the 
purpose of managing..." lands because of their inclusion in the 
National Wilderness Preservation System. The important point is that 
these lands must continue to be managed. When the best management 
for the land in question is determined to be wilderness designation, 
then our club supports that strategy. Those that support or reject 
wilderness solely on their principles and not on their knowledge of 
the lands are doing a disservice to the American People. 

The GamblerB M/C apreciates the opportunity to comment on the 
Draft Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness EIS. Cur club is satisfied 
that the "...use and enjoyment of the American people..." and the 
continued management of these public lands has been addressed in 
this draft EIS. We are happy to Bee the land and its management, 
and not a polemic opinion of either an armchair environmentalist or 
commerical exploiter, reflected in this appraisal of wilderness 
characteristics of these lands. We offer our approval of this work. 

The Gamblers K/c does not believe that outstanding opportunities 
for solitude can be found in Pish & Game Ho 1, 2, (. 1 or the Quail 
Springs WSA, We agree that the inner core, including Lime Canyon, 
of the Lime Canyon KSA has unique qualities, has natural protection 
that affords outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation, and therefore we concur with your recommendations for 
a partial inclusion of the Lime Canyon WSA. We are happy to see 
the lands around the NeLson Dump have been excluded. The Gamblers 
will support protection for the riverside drainage of El Dorado 
s protection can be accomplished within MFP 
or BMA process. IMP will protect these lands until the next update 
t goals. While the Gamblers supported partial 
El Dorado and Ireteba Peaks WSft's at the scoping 
meetings, our concerns for the continued naturalness of thetift lands, 
and their proper management, can be addressed without wilderness 
designation. 

The Gamblers M/C club will support the recommended alternative 
in each Instance. We are pleased and convinced that the beat option 
for management of our lands is reflected in these recommendations . 



and Ireteba Peaks 
or BMA | 
of the i 

inclusion i 



Sincerely 



c 



14 



Motorcycle Racing 

Association of Nevada 

3475c Boulder Highway 

Las Vegas , Nevada 

89121 

September 5th, 1988 



Bureau of Land Management 
Nevada Contiguous Lands EIS 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89108 

Attention : Janaye Byergo 

Dear EIS Manager: 

Congratulations on an excellant document. The Motorcycle Racing 
Association of Nevada (MRAN) would like to offer these comments. 

MRAN does not find opportunities for outstanding solitude in 
Nellis, Evergreen, or F&G 1,2,3. MRAN is glad that the recomendations 
for El Dorado exclude from further consideration the existing 
motorcycle race courses and heavily impacted lands on the west 
portion of the area. 

MRAN wishes to thank you for your allowing us to participate 
in the scoping process. We are heartened to see many of our members 
suggestions included in the draft EIS. MRAN notes that while those 
lands within the heart of Ireteba Peaks would no longer have IMP 
protection, there is no immediate threat to these landn. The next 
time we update the MFP for Clark County, MRAN will support management 
practices that will assure continued naturalness of these lands. 

Wilderness should only be a management tool for areas which 
offer outstanding opportunities for naturalnesss, for solitude, 
and/or have unique qualities that the preservation of is in the best 
interest of the public. Lime Canyon may be such an unique geological 
form. We defer to the White Pine County Commission on Marble Canyon, 
and accept your recommendation on Ireteba Peaks and EL Dorado. MRAN 
must applaud your courage to reject those lands that obviously don't 
meet the intention of the Wilderness Act. Further dilution of the 
quality of lands in the Wilderness Preservation System is not 
warrented. The proposed actions reflect a management effort which 
demonstrates detailed anaylsis and the proper balance of resource 
protection, utilization and preservation. We s offer our thanks for 
a job well done. 



Sincerely, 



Mike Ki nshel la 
MRAN President 



["'zrrv"^-"" ~ 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 13 

Support of the Proposed Action for the Draft EtS has been noted. 

RESPONSE TO LETTER 14 

Support of the Proposed Action for the Draft EIS has been noted. 



15-1 



w 




SIERRA CLUB 



Las Vegas Group of TOITABB CHAPTER 
FO. Box 18777, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 



15-2 



September 14, 198B 



Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas District Office 

P. O. Box 26569 

Las Vegas, NV 8 9126 

ATTN: Wilderness DEIS Team Leader 

Dear Janaye: 

We are writing to submit our comments on the Nevada 
Contiguous Lands Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). We 
have some general comments or. the entire process, and then some 
specifics regarding each of the areas. 

As we mentioned in our letter of October 9, 1987 (copy 
enclosed) regarding the Scoping Plan for this EIS, we do not 
agree with the Bureau of Land Management that the criterion of 
manageability is important in evaluating an area for wilderness 
status. However, we pointed out that increased manageability 
would result for each of these areas if other agencies designated 
adjacent lands as wilderness. Furthermore, "linking" the 
wilderness status of the contiguous lands to the wilderness 
status of adjacent lands could well provide meaningful management 
boundaries visible on the ground, rather than solely as lines on 
a map. In an ecological sense, it is important to keep a 
biological unit together and manage it appropriately. It is for 
these reasons that we feel great emphasis should be put on 
evaluating the status of the adjacent lands — yet the DEIS barely 
mentions this factor. We feel this issue should be fully 
explored in the Final EIS. 

Regarding Marble Canyon (NV040-OB6) : We favor the proposed 
action for this WSA. It is contiguous with the Humboldt National 
Forest proposed wilderness, which has high potential of being 
designated by Congress as wilderness. Furthermore, it has low 
mineral potential. The attractive scenery and excellent 
naturalness and opportunities for primitive recreation provide 
ample justification for its designation as wilderness. 
Furthermore, the area provides critical habitat for bighorn 
sheep, especially in the winter when the adjacent National Forest 
lands are too cold due to their higher elevations. The exclusion 
of lands on the western portion of the WSA has resolved potential 
conflicts and provides a reasonable wilderness boundary. 



We favor the All wilderness Alternative for Fish and 
Wildlife Nos. 1, 2, and 3 (NVO5O-201, NV050-216, and NV050-217), 
contingent on the designation of wilderness in the adjacent 
Desert National Wildlife Refuge. Improved management would 
result from the establishment of a recognizable boundary at the 
powerline. The zones of creosote bush in the lower bajada mark 
this area as transitional between the Mojave Desert and the Great 
Basin Desert. All three units provide crucial desert tortoise 
habitat protection. The areas' unspoiled condition and low 
mineral potential justify designation as wilderness. 
Furthermore, wilderness designation would have little impact on 
grazing, and it would provide protection of sensitive species 
(like the tortoise) and cultural resource sites. Fish and 
Wildlife No. 2 especially offers rugged terrain which results in 
excellent opportunities for solitude. 

The Lime Canyon (NV050-231) proposed action also meets with 
our approval. This wilderness designation should be contingent 
on the designation of the adjacent lands as wilderness. By 
including the entire watershed east of the Overton Arm, 
management of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA) 
contiguous potential wilderness will be enhanced. The area has 
low mineral potential. Wilderness will protect quail and bighorn 
habitat, and we see no significant conflicts with proposed 
guzzler construction and maintenance. 

For the Million Hills (NV050-233) we support a different 
wilderness alternative. We favor wilderness designation for the 
lands of Alternative A, with wilderness from the western base of 
Azure Ridge east contingent on designation of the LMNRA 
contiguous wilderness. This would protect the entire watershed 
draining to Lake Mead by creating naturally defensible 
boundaries, especially along the Indian Trail/Million Hills 
Washes. Bighorn sheep and raptor habitat would be protected. 
Potential mineral claims west of Azure Ridge would be precluded, 
yet there would be low impact on grazing allotments. Wilderness 
designation would protect the "fantastic scenic vistas, secluded 
spots and unusual geologic features" noted in the DEIS that would 
"entice visitors for hiking, photography, nature study or 
backpacking. " 

For both the Garrett Buttes (NV050-235) and Quail Springs 
(NV050-411) areas, we agree with the proposed action of no 
wilderness. 

Regarding El Dorado (NV050-423), we favor wilderness 
designation as per Alternative A, but with the inclusion of the 
southeastern portion which Alternative A excludes. If both this 
and the contiguous LMNRA lands are designated as wilderness, we 
propose incorporation of this area into LMNRA to protect resource 
values integral to the LMNRA. Wilderness designation of this 
unit would protect quail and bighorn habitat, unique Oak Creek 
Canyon, the drainages leading into Gregory Arch, the arch itself. 



15-3 



01 
•is. 



and the upper entrance to Lonesome Wash. We have drawn our 
boundary to exclude the exploration zone in the northwest corner 
to accommodate mineral interests. The low potential for 
minerals in the southeast corner is outweighed by the 
exceptional natural values which would be best protected in 
wilderness. Finally, wilderness designation for this unit would 
protect it from the especially intrusive potential power 
corridor which would destroy much of the visual attractiveness 
of the area. 

In the Ireteba Peaks (NVO50-438) unit, we favor Alternative 
A to exclude probable mineral drilling operations, wilderness 
designation here wouJ d protect watersheds integral with those of 
the contiguous LMNRA, viewsheds from LMWRA towards the west, 
bighorn and predator habitat, and quail and tortoise habitat. 

We favor the Ail Wilderness alternative for Jumbo Springs 
(NV050-236) , subject to designation of the LMNRA contiguous 
wilderness, because the western boundary is a logical natural and 
defensible feature (ridgeline). furthermore, wilderness would 
protect an entire watershed of the LMNRA in the Hells Kitchen 
area. Protection of bighorn habitat and development of guzzlers 
could be accomplished and maintained with a minimal impact on 
wilderness. Few mineral values would be foregone, since the area 
has low mineral potential in general. 

We agree with the proposed action of no wilderness for 
Nellis ABC (NV-050-04R-15) . 

For Evergreen ABC (NVO 50-01R-16A, 16B, 16C) , we agree with 
the proposed action of no wilderness only because of potential 
powerline intrusions. Were it not for these intrusions, we would 
favor wilderness for these areas, at least for -16A, for the same 
reasons as given above for Fish and Wildlife Nos. 1, 2, and 3. 

Finally, we agree with the proposed action of no wilderness 
for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area. As noted in the 
DEIS, this is "an outstandingly beautiful area with its running 
water, Jarge stands of quaking aspen, willow and mahogany tree, 
lush meadows, colorful rock formations and good populations of 
wildlife." However, we agree also with the DEIS' assessment that 
it does not have high wilderness values because of the numerous 
intrusions of man. 

Thank you for this opportunity to submit our comments, 
look forward to continuing work with you for eventual 
Congressional designation of BLM lands as wilderness. 

Sincerely, 

Cheri Cinkoske 

Conservation Chair 
Southern Nevada Group 



We 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 15 



1. Based on the April, 1905 decision in Sierra Club us. Matt lawsuit, 
the WSAs were reinventoried to evaluate their wilderness 
characteristics, not withstanding any contiguous land wilderness 
proposals. Based on this, recommendations were developed for each 
indi vidua! WSA . 

In compliance with NEPA this EIS was completed to analyze effects of 
designating or not designating these WSAs as wilderness. 
Manageability is not addressed as an issue. 

The known status of the adjacent agencies lands have been identified 
in Chapter 3 - Affected Environment of this EIS. 

2, Your support for the Proposed Action in the Draft EIS for Garrett 
Buttes, Quail Springs, Nellis ABC, Evergreen, Marble Canyon, Lime 
Canyon and the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area has been 
noted. 

Your preference for the All Wilderness Alternative for Fish and 

Wildlife 1, 2, 3, and Jumbo Springs; and the Partial Wilderness 

Alternative for Million Hills, El Dorado, and Ireteba Peaks has also 
been noted. 



16-1 



01 
I 
ft 

01 




FRIENDS OF NEVADAWILDERNESS 



l'C> lln\ 1*1773 

I' (j iiu\ timu 



M V»'i»,is_ N.-v.id.i H'M 12 I7UJ) 1)1-1 lll'H) 



Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas District Office 

P. O. Box 26569 

Las Vegas, NV 89126 

ATTN: Wilderness DS1S Team Leader 

Dear Ms. Eyergo: 

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is a coalition of organizations, repre- 
senting over 10,000 individuals. Although our primary focus so far has been 
the passage of a Forest Service wilderness bill for Nevada, our members are 
concerned about the entire spectrum of wilderness issues in Nevada. We wish, 
therefore, to comment on the Nevada Contiguous Lands Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement <D2IS). 

It is our understanding that the primary reason for considering these 
lands as wilderness is that they are adjacent to lands under the management of 
Otbsx agencies and such adjacent lands are under consideration for wilderness 
designation. As such, we believe it would be extremely useful if the EIS were 
to detail the proposals for the adjacent lands. Too often, the boundaries 
between agencies are artificial constructs; they have nothing to do with the 
integrity of the land, its unity in an ecological sense. In many cases, these 
small BLM parcels are an integral part of the adjacent lands, and wilderness 
designation could quite reasonably be contingent on the wilderness status of 
the adjacent lands. 

We agree with the proposed action of no wilderness for the following 



Garrett Buttes (NV050-235) 

Quail Springs (NV050-411) 

Nellis ABC (NV-050-04R-15) 

Evergreen ABC (NV050-01R-15A, 16B, 16C) 

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area (ISA) 

We favor the proposed action of partial wilderness for the Lime Canyon 
(NV050-231) unit. Here is an example where the designation of wilderness 
should be contingent on the designation of adjacent lands as wilderness. Such 
action would enhance manageability, by including the entire watershed east of 
the Overton Arm. 

We favor the wilderness boundaries proposed for Marble Canyon (NV04Q- 
036). This area is contiguous with the Humboldt National Forest proposed 
wilderness, which we are quite sure will be included in a Forest Service 
wilderness bill for Nevada. Marble Canyon is quite deserving of wilderness 
status, and it offers superb opportunities for primitive recreation. 



16-2 




FRIENDS OF NEVADAWILDERNESS 



■v.hI.i JVM 12 



(7U21 W-i llt'Ki 
(7fl2) 122-2MJ 



For Fish and Wildlife Nos. 1, 2, and 3 {NV-050-201, NV05O-216, and NV050- 
217), we favor the All Wilderness Alternative, contingent on designation of 
wilderness in the adjacent Desert National Wildlife Refuge. The areas' 
unspoiled condition justifies designation as wilderness. Furthermore, such 
designation will increase the manageability of the adjacent lands by 
establishing a recognizable boundary at the powerline. 

For Million Kills (NVO50-233) we support wilderness designation for the 
lands of Alternative A. However, we also feel that if the Lake Head National 
Recreation Area contiguous lands are designated wilderness, there should be 
wilderness from the western base of Azure Ridge east. Such designation would 
protect the entire watershed draining to Lake Mead. As noted in the DEIS, 
this entire area offers fantastic scenery and unusual geology. 

We favor wilderness designation for El Dorado (NV050-423) as per 
Alternative A, with the addition of the southeastern portion of the lands 
which Alternative A excludes, Designation of this unit as wilderness is vital 
to protect it from a proposed power corridor. 

In the Ireteba Peaks (NV0S0-43B), we favor Alternative A, again to 
protect watersheds, as well as to protect viewsheds and wildlife habitat. 

We favor the All Wilderness alternative for Jumbo Springs {NV050-236) , 
subject to designation of the contiguous lands as wilderness, in order to 
provide a recognizable western boundary as well as to protect an entire 
watershed of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. 

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the DEIS. We look forward 
to issuance of the EIS, as well as the eventual effort to obtain a BLM 
wilderness bill for Nevada. 



Sincerely, 



fes*% 



Lois Sagel 
Statewide Chair 



01 
03 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 16 



The main emphasis of the April , 1905 decision in the Sierra Club vs. 
Watt lawsuit, was to identi fy through the Wilderness Inventory 
Process those roadless public lands that possess wilderness 
character i si tics on their own, withstand! ng any contiguous lands 
wilderness proposals. 

The BLM complied with this decision by reinventoring those lands 
addressed in this EIS. The reinventory determi ned that wi Iderness 
characteristics were indeed present in those WSAs which contained 
over 5,000 acres of roadless lands. Wilderness characteristics were 
not found to be present in those WSAs which contained less than 
5,000 acres of roadless lands. 

This EIS has been prepared in compliance with NEPA requirement which 
calls for an analytical document which "provides full and fair 
discussion of significant environmental impacts and shall inform 
decisionmakers and the public of reasonable al teranti ves. . . " 

The known status of the adjacent agencies lands have been identified 
in Chapter 3 - Affected Environment of this EIS. 



Your support for the Proposed Action i n the Draft EIS for Garrett 
Buttes, Quail Springs, Nel 1 i s ABC, Evergreen, Marble Canyon, Lime 
Canyon and the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area has been 

noted. 

Your preference for the All Wi Iderness Al ternati ve for Fish and 
Wildlife 1, 2, 3, Jumbo Springs; and the Partial Wilderness 
Alternative for Million Hills, El Oorado, and Ireteba Peaks has also 

been noted. 



17 



ftuGvsr /6> / /9S% 



Birn ... 

P.O.Box ^6-5-oi 

JZ ftm *c '/+***. h^M^w^ U^ 
£ cuaL iv^L \jf*A* AM***<«**uteZ^ 

"3/5 So.QtSiM Csnte£,(W.3 

(7oa) 3%4-sii>+- 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 17 



Your preference for the No Action/No Wilderness Alternative has heen 
noted. 



01 
I 



18-1 



ElttoVt E. Bernshaw 

P.O. 6o« 6235 
Salt Lake City, UMBM06 



July 12, 198S 



-.'■lAGtMEJi? 



Janaye Byergo, US Team Leader 

Bureau o Land Mismanagement (BLM) 

Las Vegas District Office 

P.O. Boi 26569 

Las Vegas, Nev. 89126 

Dear Janaye Byergo: 



COMMENTS: NEHRDfl CONTIGUOHS IBNDS WILDERNESS DHBFT E.I.5. 

The adequacy of your wilderness recommendations on thirteen WSAs 
and one ISA is so negative that ! am unable to responsible respond in a 
constructive manner. Let me say that I so strongly object to your puny 
wilderness recommendations regarding these 14 areas that I am also 
writing to the chairmen of the appropriate Congressional public land 
committees and telling them that your recommendations are so hostile to 
the concept of wilderness as to be totally useless in deciding the future 
status of these areas. 

Your overall recommendation of wilderness for only 22.000 acres 
out of a total of 20 1 .000 acres is totally unacceptable. Most of these 
WSAs are pristine and have high natural values (especially Desert tortoise 
habitat, etc.); and they generally have minimal commodity resource values 
(oil k gas, minerals, grazing, limber) and minimal non-wilderness values 
tORV recreation, ORV hunting access, powerline corridors, etc, 1. 

I would like to point out to readers of this EIS that six of the WSAs are 
contiguous lo recommended wjlderness areas within the Da Satftt 
UlattfllBflial OTflCQUllTa HSffSJIBa (Tvergreen .FMM.FScV-2.FMf-3. 
Nellis and Quail Springs). See map of this area on another page. 

Hostility to the Desert Wildlife Refuge is well known, and your agency 
apparently refuses to do anything to enhance the recommended wild areas 
within the refuge. Of your 70,000 acres of WSA bordering the refuge 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 18 

1. Your comment is appreciated and has been noted. 



01 
I 



18-2 



wilderness areas, you cannot in Rood faith recommend a single acre for 
similar wilderness (0*). Your hatred of both wilderness and the refuge is 
beginning to betray you, gentlemen. May these little BLM WSAs have a 
more fair day in Congress. 



I note that another sii of your WSAs are contiguous to recommended 
wilderness areas within the ILafco Eflaaifl BJaaflrxttaafl Bsairs- 

aSjlDfil AffOa (-Lime Canyon, Million Hills. Garrett Buttes, Jumbo Springs. El 
Dorado and Ireteha Peaks). I am less familiar with these areas, but 1 suspect 
that your anti-wilderness bias is at play here, too. Of your 98,500 acres 
of WSA bordering these Lake Mead recommended wild areas, you could 
only recommend 14,000 acres (14*), 



Gentlemen, you really are the national bureau of land mismanagement 
!BLM), in addition to your historic role as the leftover bureau of livestock 
and mining (BLM). i hope you enjoy the reputation that your agency has 
among a growing segment of the knowledgeable public. 



Sadly yours, 




Elliott Bernshaw 



P.S.: Copy of letter to BLM Nevada State Office. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 18 



Your statements which identify the Desert National Wildlife Refuge 
and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area as being contiguous to 
twelve of the USAs are correct. The contiguous areas have been 
addressed in Chapter 3 - Affected Environment of this Final 
Wilderness E1S. 



01 



O 



18-3 




THE DESERT 
WILDLIFE 

R£FUfr6, 



(/SPW RECOMMENMO 
WILpuPS REPJ66 

BLM 
VJSM 



19- 



01 

l 
01 

o 



August 26, 1988 



Bureau Of Land Management 
Nevada State Office 
P.O. Box 12000 
Reno, Nevada B9506 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
for Nevada Contiguous Lands, 1988, 
Commentary 

Gentlemen: 

After carefully reading and analyzing the proposals for the 13 
Wilderness Study Areas, my recommendation is for total protection of 
these lands, or the All Wilderness proposal, as stated in the draft. 
My concern! focuses on two basic features: Protection of desert 
tortoise and other floral and faunal habitats, as well as the cultural 
resources of early people of Nevada; and the opportunity for solitude 
and backcountry primitive recreation within the unique scenic beauty 
created by the special geologic features of many of the areas. 

During the seven years I lived in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity 
to visit eight of the proposed Wilderness Study Areas, chiefly by hiking 
during weekend outings. The geologic qualities exhibited by Marble 
and Lime Canyons, Ganett Buttea and Million Hills provides particular 
scenic areas. The EL Dorado Range and Iretaba Peaks provide opport- 
unities for fantastic winter/spring hikes despite the urban views at 
a few isolated points Fish and Wildlife Areaa Nob. 1, 2, and 3, are 
not of particular scenic value, but the desert tortoise habitat con- 
tained within its boundaries demands protection because It is crucial 
for the survival of the desert tortoise population. 

It is my belief that any wilderness that exhibits unique qualities 
should be protected because there are so few remaining suitable primitive 
alteJ-. Nevadans have the privilege of preserving truly unique back- 
country. Much of the state Ib untethered by the demands of technical 
development. Once the balance of nature is upBet, these affected areaX 
species can never be recovered. We muBt act now to insist on preservation 
for future generations. 

Anita A. Bowen, Instructor 
Sparks, Nevada 



^ 



/HtH^ 



' - /\*rtv**->~*' 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 19 



Your preference for tne All Wilderness Alternative in the Draft E1S 
has been noted. 



- 



ao 



01 

i 




Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, XV 89108 

Dear sirs; 

It has cone to my attention that the BLM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that 1 an 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their nutomobile. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
moat other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive. 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to juBt the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 

Sincerely yours, 






21 




Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, KV B91D8 

PeRr fii rs- 



It has come to my attention that the BLM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive. 

Please do not put sdditional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 



Sincerely yours, 
5S*r© W- ^>flt*M& ^ 

Ins Ue<s« WV ^ ox 



22 



01 



01 
M 



Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 



Der 



r sirs: 



,', 


WL 




•,a~ 


g=r 


*.7 







A 






S _.. 




j'ES 


1 



It has come to my attention * hn t +b*» BI.M now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard publ ic land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive . 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thenk you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to Just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 




$7/6 (f 



23 



Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 

Dear sirsj 

It has come to my attention that the ELM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances , or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. It is iev feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to Bitting and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive. 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just t ae few who 
can use wilderness areas. 



Sincerely y-c-urs , 






24 



Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 

Bear sirs- 






It has come to my attention thai Liie BLM now lias 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automob ile. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive . 

Please do not put additional pub lie land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as orposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 

Sincerely yours, 




RESPONSE TO LETTERS 20 - 24 



Your comment supporting No Wilderness has been noted. 



01 

I 

01 



25 



July 22, 198 



United States Department of Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas District Office 

P. 0. Box 26569 

Las Vegas, Nevada 89126 

Attention: Wilderness DEIS Team Leader 

To Whom It May Concern: 

This letter is in reference to your letter dated June 2, 1988, regarding 
the Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) . 

We are submitting this written testimony in response to the BLM's 
proposed action on the Mission Hills Wilderness Area. 

On April 1, 1983, we were awarded the Oil and Gas Rights to Township IB 
South, Range 70 East, Serial # N37612 Nevada Sections 25, 31, 32, 
and 36; and Township 185 South, Range 71 East, Serial # N42593 Nevada 
Sections 19 and 20 under the US Government Simultaneous Oil and Gas Lease 
Lottery. For the past five years, we have paid taxes on this property. 

Enclosed are copies of the recorded lease pursuant to these sections. 

We are opposed to the BLM's recommendation to designate Mission Hills as 
an "all wilderness" alternative. 



Sincerely, 

ff 

James D. Horn 
Enclosures 



g. JtAnr 



etAg-s /7^gu- 



=fta M. Horn 







^U~> 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 25 



1. Your comment is appreciated. Your oil and gas leases located within 
the Million Hills USA have all been documented in the Final EIS. 

2. Your opposition to the All Wilderness Alternative for the Million 
Hills WSA has been noted. 



20 



0^ 

i 

Ol 



Bureau of Land Management 
-I7S5 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 8910B 

Dear sirs: 

It has come to ray attention that the ELM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the lard best serves all of the people 
as standard pub lie land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their pw*ra*«**ii le. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive . 

Please do not put additional publ ic land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 

Sincerely yours , 







Ti 



tW?i 



fyfro 



06 



Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 

Dear sirs.; 

Tt has come to my attention that the BLM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough . 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
6a standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. It i * my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive . 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 



Sincerely your 




«1 

I 

01 



RESPONSE TO LETERS 26 - 27 

Your comment supporting No Wilderness nas been noted. 



28 






J. B. 
E.IO ■ 
•ALES 

7- 


JACKS 
313SI lR»lri CT. 
■1 S31B3 




J an dyne, pyevy* 










Us 


l/k<u D,it- drfV^'e. 










?o 


. fl* 2_fc5% 










L<is 


■A***-/ rV/f (ff'2-X 










JW W 5 C^r. ? ) Bye^o.' 














J~l)h*L 1 1 


d.i>o^f \Jo 


or f**ti 


teW "^ 


M I 


ya^r 


tav^t ~&- 


fcLCe /h flC™/ &n ly 


1 fc. 


; ^>c/f~ //ll^ 'K lU 


i (OUvJ-z.. 


Syi^^. 








(^ooj -j£l. yw« / JZT 


5ff< 


r/T /^-- d' 


wW^^ 






(tr* /un* -(an. jvo m 


u-=j\ rn<- 


'ifuj/c. li^«- 


lai-J CM/V&^iL 


tW 


IAK> 11 Wt t<4<=W4-«*~ 


^ 


^■/j 7" Aasj=* 


/X-f-ta. . 






RESPONSE TO LETTER 28 



Your comment supporting the BLH' s recommendation for wi 1 derness 
under the Proposed Action in tne Draft EIS has been noted. 



01 

l 



29-1 



Robert W. Maichle 
4221 West Arby 
Las Vegas, Nevada 
89116-51Q7 

September 8th , 1988 



Bureau of Land Management 
Nevada Contiguous Lands EIS 
4765 Vegas Dr i ve 
Las Uegas, Nevada 89108 

Attention: Janaye Byergo 

Dear EIS Manager j 

Thank you -for the opportunity to comraen t on the Draft Nevada Con t i guous 
Lands Wi 1 demess Envi ronmen tal Impact Statement (EIS). This doc urn en t i s 
excellent for a draft, much better than many final EIS that 1 have read, 
I will comment page by page as I reread the document, drawing my conclusions 
after making my specific comments. 

The last line of page s-4 mentions "Outstanding opportunities for solitude" 
in Fish and Wildlife No. t. J do not agree that there are any 'outstanding 
opportunities' in the slender section of land adjacent to a well travel 
highway. This same comment may be applied to the first line of the conclusion 
of the all wilderness proposal on page s-5. 

The first paragri^k o+ the conclusion on page s-6 concerning the mentions the 
presence of "Outstanding opportunities for solitude" in Fish and Wildlife 
No, 2. I do not agree that there are any 'outstanding opportunities' in 
this narrow section of land parallel to a U.S. highway 93. This same comment 
must be applied to the first line of the conclusion of the all wilderness 
proposal on page s-7. 

Within the first paragraph of the conclusion on page s-7 concerning the 
"Outstanding opportunities for solitude" in Fish and Wildlife No. 3, I 
do not agree that there are any 'outstanding opportunities' in this narrow 
section of land parallel to a U.S. highway 93. This same comment must be 
applied to the first line of the conclusion of the all wilderness proposal 
on page 5-8. 

I highlighted the comment on page s-10 that wilderness values would be 
retained in 12,915 acres of the Lime Canyon area even if the no action 
alternative was followed. Since this approximates the acreage proposed 
for inclusion in the Wilderness System, I can assume the boundaries were 
selected that afford natural protection for this site. This recommendat ion 
is close to the recommendation of a fellow club on the Nevada Off Highway 
Users Counc i 1 and I am aware of the naturalness and special geological 
significance of Lime Canyon, 1 applaud your proposed action as opposed to 
either the all or no alternatives. 

The first paragraph of the conclusion on page s-14 notes the ."Outstanding 
opportunities for solitude* in the Ouail Springs WSA . These lands within 
view of the urban blight of Las Vegas, and adjacent to rural sprawl of 
homes in the northwest portion of the Vegas Valley, do not offer any 
'outstanding' opportunities. This same comment applies to the first line 
of the conclusion of the all wilderness proposal on page s-15. 

<1> 



29-2 



Lfl 
I 

w 

03 



TIM first line of comment on the proposed action <s-15> on the El Dorado 
USA notes that the wilderness values that exist on 4,600 acres would be 
diminished. This number plus the 5,690 acres, which would retain their 
wilderness values without IMP protection, total to the entire area. 1 
do not believe that the lands in the west portion of the USA possess 
anything 'outstanding' except well traveled w 
scattered mess from the Nelson dump. There 
water drainage toward the El Dorado Dry Lake 
natural. Since the question of minerals 



ace courses and the 
re about four sections with 
These sections are not 
the inability to fully implement 



a proposed interpreti 
has been raised, I at 
alternative was selected over 



e program, and the possible hardships to utility users 
least understand the reasoning of why the no action 
he partial action alternative. 



Ireteba PeaKs (s-17), I believe the ruggedness of the terrain will preserve 
the qualities of wilderness in most of the 4800 acres that this document 
suggest will be diminished. I agree that wilderness values would be 
retained in the remaining 10,000* acres, that is, as long as these lands 
are not invaded by the dreaded bulldozer or other mechanized implements 
of destruction. 1 urge protection for these lands under new MFP or RMA 
guidelines. I personally want to be contacted before any right-of-way or 
preventable encroachment occurs on these lands. I am sorry under the 
recommended proposal, the IMP will no longer protect these lands. 

I agree that Jumbo Springs (s-19) will suffer no long term impacts under 
the proposed no action alternative. 

The known cultural resources within the Marble Canyon USA (1-7) would be 
better provided -for under the proposed action, limiting but not harshly 
restricting access. While this area does not need additional analysis 
in this E1S, there are valid concerns tor the cultural resources of this 
area . 

The possible cultural resources within the Lime Canyon USA (1-13) would be 
better provided -for under the proposed action, limiting but not harshly 
restricting access. While this area does not need additional analysis 
in this E1S, there are valid concerns for the cultural resources of this 
area . 

There are bighorns in the El Dorado USA (1-20), the re-establishment of 
native species under either IMP or Wilderness management need not be 
addressed. 

I question whether there is any off-road use in the Ireteba Peaks USA 
as suggested on page 1-22. 1 am unaware of any use or encroachment on 
the north or west boundaries. Access to the most of the eastern and 
southern boundaries is protected by the National Park Service policy 
on off-road travel. Any use shifted to adjacent lands would be most 
i nsi gni-f icant . 

There are bighorns in the Ireteba Peaks USA (1-22), the re-establishment 
of native species under a Ui I derness Management Policy is not needed. 

The construction of guzzlers within the proposed Lime Canyon action area 
is addressed on pace 2-25. The well being of desert bighorn is wonderful 
and they enhance the wilderness ualues of Lime Creek. Some organizations 
that support bighorn sheep haue taken a strong ant i -» 1 derne.ss position. 
Since specific wording not contained in the Wilderness Act would haue to 
be included in any legislation to allow the continued existence of these 
slickrock guzzlers, I note the potential conflict. I believe that some 
enabling legislation is needed. I would like to see this addressed. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 29 



The bighorn sheep water developments addressed in the Draft EI5 win 
be implemented in such a way so as to meet those specifications 
outlined in the Interim Management Policy and Guidelines for Lands 
Under Wilderness Review and the Wilderness Management Policy . "Both 
documents al low For tfie implementation and existence 5T wildlife 
water developments. Properly planned, designed and located water 
developments should not need any enabling language within proposed 
wilderness legislation that would allow for their implementation and 
existence. 



29-3 



Oi 



01 
(0 



The construction of guzzlers within the partial and all alternatives of 
Million Hills WSA is addressed on pages 2-34 and 2-37. A year round 
bighorn population would benefit this area. Some organizations that 
support bighorn sheep have taken a strong ant i -wi Iderness position, 
Specific wording not contained in the Wilderness Act would be needed. 
This catch-22 coupled with this anti-wilderness position might be used 
thwart the inclusion of these lands. Please address this in the final 
document . 

The presence of quail guzzlers (2-43) and future construction of a bighorn 
guzzler in the Garrett Buttes USA is noted. The value o-f the Gambel's 
quail and introduction of bighorn sheep would enhance this area. Are 
bighorns indigenous to the Barrett Buttes. 

The all wilderness alternative for El Dorado USA (2-53) would prohibit 
organized competitive ORV events. This is a traditional use of this area. 
The use of ex i st ing ways , low impact washes, and the respect these DRV 
organizations have for the desert resource is why these lands our still 
being considered. The majority of the hunting and camping as welt as 
the ORV competitive use take place on the portion excluded in the partial 
alternative. The recreation users should not lose their desert resource 
because their past use did not eliminate qualities of naturalness. 

While about one vehicle per month would be denied access to the Ireteba 
Peaks USA in the partial alternative on page 2-65, the projection for 
non-motorized recreational use would increase by two visits per month. 

There is no potential for ORU non-speed competition in the Jumbo Springs 
USA addressed on page 2-69. 

The acknowledgement of cultural resources on page 3-4 is sufficient to 
assure me that thi= valuable resource will be protected under any BLM 
management . 

The 'outstanding' opportunities for solitude mentioned on page 3-5 do 
not exist, There is no pi ace Within Pish and WI 1 dl 1 4 e No. 1 inhere you 
can escape the visual site and sounds of the trucks and vehicles driving 
up US 93. While the west side of that range of hills provides visual 
screening in Fish and Wildlife No. 2, there is no place where you can 
be as much as 3 miles from a major north-south US highway. There are 
few places within Fish and Wildlife No. 3 where you can escape the visual 
impact of the highway but the most distance you can escape the sounds 
of the highway is three miles in the northwest cornerand by a jeep trail. 
God only knows what additional visual impacts Aerojet-General has planned. 
The utility corridor, Highway 92 and Aerojet General make the use of the 
word 'outstanding' questionable. The size must be cons i dered wi th shaspe 
which is on long narrow area paralleling a major north-south US highway. 

The more than sufficient description of cultural resources (3-6 & 3-8) 
in Fish and Wildlife No. I , 2, and 3 assures me that these areas wl 1 1 be 
provided for under any BLM management. 

The HMP which includes Lime Canyon WSA (3-11), the Mi 11 ion Hills WSA (3-15), 
and the Garrett Buttes <3-19), includes references lo wilderness and the 
implications of the Uilderness Management Pol i cy . 1 would suggest that 
this document and comment received be reviewed. There were questions raised 
by comments which would be better addressed in the finalized EIS, 

I do not agree that there is any 'outstanding' opportunities for solitude 
in the Quail Springs USA (3-20). 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 29 



In recogni tion of your comment further research noted that al 1 the 
mountain ranges in the Gold Butte geographical area are not historic 
bighorn sheep habitat. Therefore, those bighorn sheep water 
developments proposed within the Garrett Buttes WSA would not be 
implemented if the area is designated wilderness. The Final EIS 
reflects these changes. 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment in the Draft EIS identified that a 
Habitat Management Plan (HMP) would be implemented for the Gold 
Butte geographical area. Those actions proposed in the HMP that may 
occur within the WSAs were addressed in Chapters 2 and 3 of the 
Draft EIS. 

As the HMP and the Draft Wilderness EIS are two entirely different 
documents, any references to comments received on the HMP within 
this Final EIS would be beyond the scope of the document. 



29-4 



cn 
i 

6) 
© 



What Is the El Dorado Act mentioned on page 3-23? 1 Question the 470 visits 
annually (3-25). These area, was until IMP suspended its use, ulilizied by 
3 or 4 motorcycle races a year. Each motorcycle race had between 100 and 200 
participants. The occasional use oft off-road motorbik i ng, hunting and rock- 
hounding include 4 or 5 visits on each weekend. That is a minimum of 300 
visits by competitive 0FW racers and a minimum of 400 occasional use on 
just the weekends. Additional use by sponsoring Motorcycle clubs in seeking 
courses, weekday ORVing, and exploring must account -for some visits. 1 
believe this area is utilized three times as often as you suggest. 

I question the 100 annual vehicle recreation visits to lreteba Peaks as 
mentioned on page 3-30. I would think encroachment on the USA, not the 
use of roads that define the northern USA boundary, would be much less. 

The irresponsible camper (3-41) who leaves ruts and tracks in soft damp 
areas should be controlable with a proper RMA. 



The development o 
roads within the 
This is reflected 
fvture mineral de 
the least sensiti 
as resul t of 1 ack 
and increased use 
near 240 visit a 
mention in the M 
seriDus problem, 
perception. The 
gu idel ires, 

I do not bel ieve 
Ouail Spring USA 



f two-track routes (4-27), that is the pioneering of new 
Gold Butte Area is not allowed as a result of the ORO CRMP. 
in the MFP plan. Those location of roads projected for 
elopment would be coordinated with the BLM and hopefully 
c route would be selected. Cross-country use may increase 
of visible barriers, reduced funding for BLM enforcement, 
of the area, however, this unauthorized use is nowhere 
year. These same comments go to the cross-country use 
llion Hills on page 4-38. 1 do not believe these Is a 
nor that additional use is likely to alter the natural 
motorized use mentioned on 4-50 would also be within MFP 



that outstanding opportunities for solitude exist in the 
as ment i on on 4-52. 



The impacts of shifting use 14-62) from the western four section of the 
El Dorado USA would be significant to motorcycle racing in Southern Nevada. 
The wash running behind the dump allows a low impact return corridor from 
the Nelson Hills area. This low-impact corridor is the backbone of many 
race proposals. Significant impacts would occur if this use was forced 
elsewhere . 

The estimate of 260 vehicle visits (4-63) to the partial alternative may 
be high. Organized competitive use would not be impacted by the partial 
al ternat i ve. 

The last specific comment I have is on page 5-4. If a militant group, 
sought by the California BLM for actions that endangered the lives of 
participants in the permitted Barstow to Vegas Race last year, can be 
listed as an organization, why were all the OfW groups lumped together. 

The quality of this draft document is to be commended. The comments 1 
have made on specific points within the draft are minor and represent 
valid and different points of view. My comments on the proposed action 
fol 1 ow: 

1 will defer to the Uh i te Pine County Commision on Marble Canyon. The 
partial alternative allows for access and provide protection for the 
cultural resources. 1 accept your conclusion and support the proposed 
act i on . 

I uholeheartly agree with your proposed action for Fish and Uildlife No. I. 
This area is, in my opinion, void of any quality that would warrant Its 
further study. 

(4) 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 29 

4. The existing and projected motorized recreational use figures given 
in the Draft EIS are estimates derived from the best information 
available to the BLM. Since motorized recreational use has never 
been monitored or surveys conducted within the MSAs, no exact 
baseline data exists. Therefore, the motorized recreational use 
projections in the Draft EIS may be somewhat high. 

In recognition of your comment, visitor use projections for some of 
the WSAs were adjusted. These adjustments are reflected within the 
appropriate sections of the Final EIS. 

5. The BLM has reassessed the impacts to motorized recreational use 
within the El Dorado USA under the All Wilderness Alternative. 
Shifting the use from the WSA to nearby public lands would have a 
marginal impact on motorcycle racing. This is reflected under the 
" Impacts on Motorized Recreational Use" section in Chapter 4 - 
Environmental Consequences ot this Final EIS. 



Competitive motorcycle racing events could be reinstated wit 
El Dorato U?A once the area has been released from the wi 1 
review process. However, competitive off-road vehicle event 
not necessarily utilize the exact same race routes or be rei 
at the same levels that existed within the area prior 
wilderness review process. All off-road : vents proposed for 
Dorado Valley area, which would include the western portion 
El Dorado WSA, would be authorized on a case-by-case basis, 
authorized events would utilize the least impacting course wh 
or may not encompass the western portion of the WSA. 



hin the 
derness 
woul d 
nstated 
to the 
the El 
of the 
Those 
ich may 



Each 0RV group that was sent the Draft and Final EIS has been listed 
separately in Chapter 5 - Public Participation of this document. 



I wholeheart ly agree with your proposed action for F i sh and Wildlife No. 2. 
29 — 5 This area does not possess the outstanding qualities that would warrant 
its -further study. Cultural resources must be protected. 

I wholeheartly agree with your proposed action for Fish and Wildlife Ho. 3. 

This area is, in my opinion, void of any quality that would warrant its 
further study. Cultural resources wi 1 1 be protected under non-wilderness 
management . 

Lime Canyon is a unique area. Your proposed action shows wisdom, providin 

■for access and ut i Hz at ron of the less sui tabl 

truly unique and outstanding qualities of the 
proposed act i on . 



I 

01 



reas while protecting the 
canyon area. I support this 



Million Hills will retain its qualities, 
support the proposed action. 



1 accept your conclusion and 



Garrett Buttes is too accessible for wilderness protection. 

conclusion and support the proposed action. 



1 accept your 



Quail Springs just ain't wilderness. Your proposed action shows foresight. 
I support fully the recomraendat i on that Quail Springs is unsuitable for 
wilderness designation. 

E) Dorado has some natural areas on the river side of the WSA. These areas 
are protected by the terrain. Any action should recognize that the western 
four sections of this area are not wilderness. The choice between the partial 
alternative and the proposed action is difficult. My passion for the 
partial alternative is reduced by the merits of the proposed action, I nope 
that a future RMA or MFP will retain the primitive and natural qualities ot 
the central core the El Dorados, 1 accept your conclusion and will support 
the proposed ac t i on . 

Ireteba Peaks in a special place to me. I wish that justification for the 
partial alternative had been found. I hope that a future RMA or MFP will 
retain the primitive and natural qualities of this rugged mountainous area. 
I still favor the all wilderness or partial wilderness proposal. 1 can 
park my motorcycle at the end of the road to Tule seep and walk 50 yards 
into the canyon. I find outstanding opportunity for solitude. I find that 
this area is natural. I find the plant species I seldom see elsewhere 
unique, I understand the proposed action in the light of multiple use 
and other resources such as mineral but I cannot endorse this proposal. 



Jumbo Springswill retain the qualities, 
support the proposed action. 



I accept your conclusion and 



1 wholeheartly agree with your proposed action for Nellis A, B, and C. 
This area is, in my opinion, void of any quality that would warrant its 
further study. 

J wholeheartly agree with your proposed action for Evergreen A, 8, and C. 
This area does not possess the outstanding qualities that would warrant 
i ts further study. 

1 agree with the proposed action for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural 
Area. The needed protection for this land can be accomplished with a good 

resource management plan. 

I appreciate be given the opportunity to comment on this draft E1S. The 
whole crew deserves congratulations on a excellent job. 

Sincerely, 



&£ 



it /'--**♦-*•:* 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 29 



Your support for the Proposed Action in the Draft EIS for Fish and 
Wildlife 1, 2, 3, Lime Canyon, Million Hills, Garrett Butte, Quail 
Springs, El Dorado, Jumbo Springs, Nellis ABC, Evergreen, and the 
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area has been noted. 

Your nonsupport of the Proposed Action for Ireteba Peaks has also 
been noted. 



i 

6) 

M 



30 










^<4/ 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 30 



Your support for the All Wilderness Alternative in the Draft EIS has 
been noted. 



31 



[ 

G) 



Bureau o:~ Land Management 
4765 Veg;is Drive 
Las Vegas, NV S9108 

Dear sirsj 

It has come to ay attention that the BI.M now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough, 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of ua who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive . 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering ell of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 



32 



Sincerely yours, 




^%LX 



T5 f M 




Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, W 89108 

Dear sirsj 



It has come to my attention that the ELM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go on record as saying that I am 
against additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough , 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
as standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobile. Tf i<? my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great nation needs to 
survive. 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 
can use wilderness areas. 



Sincerely yours, 







yi 
i 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 31 

Your comment supporting Mo Wilderness has been noted 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 32 

Your comment supporting No Wilderness has been noted. 



33 



<23Qjjj{uji-W < i& 



\QjjjI 






KjuX-uJi^ovo 



vDujo--^ J tr 



iafYn ->~"J^> 






Pouwiiu 



o^. — ' 



M 



.VXiJL 



4 









s 







L 



01 

I 

6) 
01 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 33 



Your comment supporting the Proposed Action in the Draft EIS has 
heen noted. 



34 



2921 BE JJrd Street 

Lighthouse Folnt, .'lorida 550d* 

September 11, 1988 

Bureau of land Management 
Nevada State Office 
P.O.. Bo* 12000 
Reno,. Nevada 89520 

Dear Bfflr 

Regarding the Nevada Contiguoe L.nds Wilderness Environmental 

rmoact Statement. I support the All A'ilderneBs Alternative- for all 

fourteen areas* This : would add 200,918 scree to the National Viilcemee 

Preservation. Syataa. L lived in Reno r Nevada for twenty years-.. 

These areB9 Bhouid be preserved as wilderness for their aceniic-. 

recreational, wildlife,, and primitive valuea. Thank you for this 

opportunity to comment* 

Sincerely. 



fr&l <U, 



Reed Secort. 



«^> 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 34 



Your comment supporting the All Wilderness Alternative in the Draft 
EIS has been noted. 



I 



35 




Bureau of Land Management 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 

Dear sirs; 



It has come Lo ray attention thai, the ELM now has 
various sections of land under study for use as wilderness 
areas. I would like to go an record as saying that I am 
agai nst additional areas of land being used as wilderness. 
The wilderness areas that have already been approved for 
that purpose are enough. 

I believe that the land best serves all of the people 
aa standard public land. Wilderness areas are closed to 
older people who cannot walk long distances, or cripple 
people who depend upon their automobi 1 e . It is my feeling 
that wilderness areas discriminate against many of us who 
cannot use those areas. They are also closed to mining and 
most other activities that this great netion needs to 
survive. 

Please do not put additional public land into 
wilderness areas for the good of all of us. Thank you for 
considering all of our needs, as opposed to just the few who 

cbd use wilderness areas. 

Sincerely yours, 



• 70 - -T- & * 



-*,?& 5 n '> r "2/7 

EL Ho .i*i' Si 7^' 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 35 



Your comment supporting No Wilderness has been noted. 






3 6-1 



JOHN R. SWANSOH 









-A - 



1~» S«.,.>A , 



V ^,v\. ^((yVV^-l.^' ■. l\ u.iT.t. VUV AVI. *■ ■. "- — <- » rrlV t, ■,(.._. ,V. '"-' lV ' S 

*\ - K 



en 

i 

& 
m 



JOHN A. SWANSON 
P. 0. Bo* €S5* 



J. .'A 

■TV, 



i - ., a. u ■ 






-iA l <\\ 






ill A^VV. -v-l \J i\lt v»< -> » ° 






;ak-v~ 



itV^Wtv, ., 



j n ^^^ n (\ 



\\,.A, 



N J ft «^ ^ 



YV,VWv»."-^\ 'XI, ISO 
"Wv\, ,. A >< ■AVV 'VI. (S.l'iS 









t-Vt 



,5 SSo 



* *Vr.A^-\ C.«R^-»*t W^ 5 "\t 1 'O . 

s, t.A. ^Wj* 0,v-^uJ\, [\tr,^- X 1 «^» lM - -" 1 

^AjW^<v 

V... ..Ax- 



il- V vj I 



f\ta fr Ur > L€ + 



v 



^. 



RESPONSE TO LETTER 36 



Your comment supporting the All Wilderness Alternative in the Draft 
EIS has been noted. 



ORAL TESTIMONY 



5-69 



Responses to Oral Testimony 
Response #1 - James D. Horn (page 5-82) 

The existence of your oil and gas leases within the Million Hills WSA have been identified in the Final 
EIS. 

Response #2 - Geoff Arnold, Vicroy Gold Corporation (page 5-89) 

Mining activities occurring on public lands have to conform to the State's air quality regulations. 
The Wilderness Management Policy states BLM's policy which is to manage wilderness areas in 
compliance with the existing state air quality classification for each specific areas. 

Response #3 - Ray Irwin (page 5-98) 

BLM policy towards wilderness management prohibits the development of buffer zones. 

Response #4 - David Hennan (page 5-99) 

BLM's policy for management of both Wilderness Study Areas and future designated wildernesses 
will allow for the emergency use of vehicles in the event of fire or other natural disaster. 



5-70 



iJvf<\iO- 'Mi- iSl. 



i 



ORIGINAL 



BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



REGARDING 



NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT E.I.S. HEARING 



PUBLIC TESTIMONY 

Taken on Wednesday, August 3, 1988 

At 7:15 P.M. 

At The Clark County School District Auditorium 

2832 E. Flamingo Road 

Las Vegas, Nevada 



Reported by: Patti Fernandez, C.S.R. No. 129 



American Federal Stenographers 

301 K (lark Acraur. Suiie 9/6 

Im\ V.pn, Nnatia Hit 01 

7112 SH2 ttt'.l'tf 





1 


APPEARNCES: 




2 


BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 




3 
4 


EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST JOHN CHAPPELL 




5 


WILDERNESS SPECIALIST LINDA HANSEN 




WILDERNESS SPECIALIST SHARON NETHERTON 




? 


ARCHAEOLOGIST BRIAN AMME 




TEAM LEADER FOR NEVADA JANAYE BYERGO 




a 


CONTINGUOUS LANDS WILDERNESS 




9 


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 




10 


SPEAKERS 




11 


1. Mr. Lombardo 12. Max Christiansen 




12 


2. Connie Sinkins 13. Harlan Miller 




13 


3. Curtiss Robinson 14. Samee Cordova 




14 


4. Harry Pappas 15. James Kasajian 




15 


5. Robert Maichle 16. Dorsey Stewart 




16 


6. Richard Wyman 17. Perry Diokerson 




17 


7. Charles Luzier 18. Ray Buckland 




18 


a. Jerry Barker 19. Geoff Arnold 




19 


9. James Horn 20. Wayne Sayer 




20 


10. Bryant Robinson 21. Dell Robinson 




21 


11. Phillip Henderson 




22 






23 






24 






25 


2 




American Federal Stenographer!! 


-Ifll E Clark Aimur. Stair 91 ii 


Ijk IVgiis. NfVatht Mlllll 


na-.is20Enf 



LAS VEGAS, NEVADA AUGUST 3, 1988 

(Whereupon the hearing was called 
to order) 



MR. CHAPPELL: 

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's get our meeting started. 
This Hearing will come to order. Good evening and welcome. 
My name is John Chappell and I am an Employee Development 
Specialist with the Bureau of Land Management in the Reno 
State Office. 

I will be the presiding officer at this meeting 
tonight. This hearing is being held to receive information, 
views, comments and suggestions on the adequacy of the Nevada 
Contiguous Land Draft wilderness Environmental Impact 
Statement prepared by the Bureau of Land Management. 

This hearing gives us the opportunity to receive 
comments from the public and private sectors of the community. 
In addition, we welcome written comments received during the 
review and comment period which will close on September 17, 
1988. 

Two hearings have been scheduled for this Draft 
Statement, the hearing held here tonight in Las Vegas and one 
scheduled tomorrow night in Reno. 

The BLM has appointed a hearing panel to receive 



American Federal Stenographers 

Mil E Clark Airaue. SuUftHO 

l,n 1«k«n. NrtodaXSWl 

7Q2-3H2 tJKtW 



your comments. Seated with me today are Janaye Byergo. 
Janaye is the team leader for the Nevada Contiguous Land Draft 
Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement. 

Linda Hansen is the Wilderness Specialist from the 
Nevada State Office in Reno. Sharon Netherton, a Wilderness 
Specialist in our Ely office and she's at the table and Brian 
Amme, an Archaeologist with our Ely District Office. 

The official recorder will make a verba tim 
transcript of this hearing and it is also being recorded on 
the tape to insure a complete and accurate record. 

We request that only one person speak at a time 
while the hearing is in session. No one will be recognized 
other than the designated stated speaker and members of the 
hear i ng panel . 

I want to emphasize that we are holding this meeting 
to obtain your views. To do this, there are certain 
guidelines which must be observed during the hearing to best 
use the time allowed. 

These guidelines are listed for you on the handout 
and I will go over them with you now. 

Number A, Please confine your statements to your 
views on the proposed action and draft environmental 
statement . Any other remarks are inappropriate to this 
hear i ng . 

B, This hearing is strictly designated for you to 



American Federal Stenographers 

.Ull h. t:iurk Mvitu,: Sum- . l iJ<> 

hit IVjpi*. NndJu H&ltH 

702 IH* Ut.rff 



01 
U 









1 


give information to as, us, the BLM, therefore, there will be 




2 


no debate or cross questioning between participants. 




3 


C, As a Federal representative, we must, following 




4 


completion of the National Environmental Policy Act, process 




5 


and decide on the merits of their proposed action. 




6 


Part of that process is seeking your views which 




7 


will assist us in our deliberation which will be considered 




8 


prior to making decisions concerning the proposed action. 




9 


I again stress that we are here to listen to your 




10 
11 


views. The hearing panel may ask clarifying questions as 
necessary at the conclusion of each speaker's remarks. 




12 


These quest ions, however should not be interpreted 




13 


as expressions of any determined positions of the panel 




14 


member , the BLM or the Department or Interior. 




15 


D, All speakers will confine their remarks to 3 




16 


minutes or less. The person sitting with the Court Reporter 




17 


will act as a time keeping person and that's Lin da. 




18 


I will inform you when you have one minute. I'll 




19 


ho Id up one finger and we are not going to stop or start the 




20 


clock until you have given your name, your location and who 




21 


you represent . 




22 


So, you are going to have a full 3 minutes to give 




23 


your speech on the preliminaries that we require which will be 




24 


prior to the clock starting. 




25 


For those who have both oral and written statements, 

5 




A/HcnVmt Federal Stenographers 


Mil K Vlark Amwr. ftittr MJfi 


/.<m V«b«b. Ni-tutfo K910J 


702 -:W2-l)F.lVf 



I suggest that your oral statements highlight the points which 
you wish to make, staying within the specified 3 minute time 
frame. 

If you chose to submit only a written statement, we 
assure you that it will be given the same consideration as an 
oral statement made tonight. Copies of the written statements 
should include your name, address and the organization, if 
any, that you represent. 

When you are called on to speak, copies of your 
statement should be given to the hearings coordinator sitting 
by the Reporter. I will take them and get them to the 

I will take them and get them to the Recorder. 
Written statements may also be submitted to two of the BLM 
offices and the first one is the Bureau of Land Management, 
the Nevada State Office at P.O. Box 12000, that's in Reno, 
89520. 

The other is the Las Vegas District Office, Bureau 
of Land Management, Las Vegas District Office, P.O. Box 26569, 
Las Vegas , Nevada 89126 and mark the statement to the 
attention of Wilderness DEIS. Team Leader. 

Statements will be accepted until September 17, 
1988. Those who indicate to us prior to the hearing a desire 
to present a statement today, will speak first, following the 
scheduled speakers and we will hear from any of the rest of 
you as time permits. 



American Federal Stenographers 

mi K tSarkArauw.SttUeSIG 

l.u\ IV^a, tbmtfa mtOl 

7(>2-.iH2 m.l-tf 



01 

! 

-J 



Speakers not present when called on, will be placed 
at the end of the list. 

Finally, a transcript of these proceedings will be 

vailable for review at BLM's Reno and Las Vegas Offices. 

Copies can be purchased from American Federal Stenographers 

nd we have a card here that you can get if you want to get an 

ddress and we will give you a card of the stenographer. It's 

a company here in Las Vegas. 

If there are any questions on the hearing procedure, 
we will try to answer them now. Are there any questions? 

FEMALE VOICE: Yes. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Yes Ma'am. 

FEMALE VOICE: Must we have a written copy of our 
speech to submit before we speak tonight? 

MR. CHAPPELL: No, not at all. The oral statement 
will be taken by the stenographer and if you have a written 
statement, you can turn it in or mail it prior to September 
17th. 

FEMALE VOICE: Thank you. 

MR. CHAPPELL: But no, you do not need it written. 

If there are no other questions. If there are 
no more questions then. Miss Byergo will briefly describe the 
proposed action and we will then proceed with the public 
comment. Janaye. 



American Federal Stenographers 

Ml h ('int. Armu?, Sua,- HJfi 

iMi IVi^jft, Nmuta VlWl 



(Whereupon Ms. Byergo takes the 
pod i um) 

MS. BYERGO: Again, I'm Janaye Byergo and I'm the 
team leader for the Nevada Contiguous Lands Wilderness 
Environmental Impact Statement. 

Before starting tonights hearing, 1 would like 
to present a brief overview of the proposed action and 
alternatives analyzed in this environmental impact statement . 

Thirteen wilderness study areas and one 
instant study area were addressed in the Nevada Contiguous 
Lands Draft Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement. These 
study areas encompass some 200,918 acres located within Clark, 
Lincoln, White Pine and Humbolt Counties. 

An all wilderness and no action/no wilderness 
alternatives were analyzed for each of the wilderness study 
areas and the instant study area. 

The all wilderness alternative represents close 
to the maximum possible acreage that could be recommended 
suitable for wilderness designation within a study area. 

No portion of a study area is recommended 
suitable under the no action/no wilderness alternative. 

Five of the fourteen study areas were analyzed 
for a partial wilderness alternative. This alternative 
recommends as suitable for wilderness designation less than 



Ameriiim Federal Stenographers 

301 E Clark At ntu,; Suit,- iUti 

Ias Virus, Nrratta H»IQI 

702-3X3 ttFPtf 



en 
01 



the total acreage of the study area in order to allow for 
resource conflicts and manageability considerations. 

The proposed action for the Marble Canyon and 
Lime Canyon Wilderness Study areas recommended portions of 
each as suitable for wilderness designation, for a total of 
22,195 acres . 

The proposed act ion for the remaining eleven 
wilderness study areas and the instant study area recommended 
the no act ion/no wilderness alternative. 

Several issues and concerns were identified by 
the public and BLM staff during the scoping process. 

The exploration and development of non-energy 
mineral resources and energy resources, wilderness values 
livestock developments and maintenance activities, levels of 
motorized recreational use, development of utilities and 
material sites, crucial desert tortoise habitat and Lahonthan 
Cut-throat Trout habitat, were the major issues addressed and 
carried through the impact analysis portion of the draft EIS. 

As Mr. Chappell said, we will be receiving 
comments on the draft EIS until September 17th. I will now 
turn the hearing back to Mr. Chappell. 

MR. CHAPPELL: As speakers are called, please give a 
copy of your statement, if you have a written statement to ine 
at the table and I will get it to the Recorder. 

Please begin your oral statement by stating 



American Federal Stenographers 

lot K Clark Aoruae. Suite 9tt> 

t.as Vrgas, Nnaila H9101 

702 -IH2 DEI'jf 



your name, your address and the organization you represent, if 
any. 

We have quite a few speakers tonight and what 
we have done is; numbered them as they were turned in and 
there is one, we have cycled around because of distance of 
travel and I have indicated an early departure desire. 

Our first speaker is Mr. Walter Lombardo, 
consultant from here in. Las Vegas and represents the Nevada 
Department of Minerals. Mr. Lombardo. 

MR. LOMBARDO: The first thing I should ask i 
should I give my home address or my office address for the 
state? 

MR. CHAPPELL: Whichever one you are comfortable 
with, sir. The office address is fine. 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 1 takes 
the podium) 

MR. LOMBARDO: My name is Walter Lombardo. I am a 
consultant for the Nevada Department of Minerals in Las Vegas. 
The Las Vegas office address is 2300 McLeod Street in Las 
Vegas and if you need, 89158. 

The Nevada Department of Minerals appreciates 
the opportunity to comment on the Nevada Contiguous Lands 
Wilderness Draft Environmental Impact Statement. 



13 



American Federal Stenographers 

30t E Clark Armor, Suit,- 916 

las VrK'is. Nrnula 10*191 

702-IH2 -DU'if 



Ui 

I 

-J 

o> 



The Department of Minerals supports the BLH in 
its decision to withdraw the following wilderness study areas 
from further wilderness consideration: 

Fish and Wildlife Numbers 1, 2 and 3 
Mill ion Hills 
Garrett Buttes 
Quail Springs 
El Dorado 
ireteba Peaks 
Jumbo Springs 
NeLlis ABC 
and Evergreen ABC. 
All of the above mentioned WSA's have 
sufficient mineral resource potential to warrant being left 
open for possible exploration and development the El Dorado 
and Ireteba Peaks WSA's are adjacent to the El Dorado 
(Nelson) and Searchlight Mining Districts, where significant 
gold and silver mining has occurred. Jumbo Springs also has 
potential for precious metals. 

Portions of Clark County, as well as other 
areas in Nevada, have been targeted for energy resource 
exploration due to favorable geologic features. 

Fish and Wildlife No. 1 and Evergreen ABC have 
oil and gas potential, while Quail Springs and Nellis ABC have 
geothermal energy potential. 



11 



American Federal Stenographers 

Ml E. Clark Minur, Suite UI6 

ijii Wrh*, Nntuta H&l&l 

7Q2-3&2-DE8f 



Fish and Wildlife Numbers 1, 2 and 3, Quail 
Springs, and Nellis ABC all have sand and gravel potential. 
Sand and gravel operations in Las Vegas are shut down to 
depletion or encroachment by urban areas, some of these 
outlying deposits may be utilized. 

As the minerals industry is the second largest 
industry in the state, and as Nevada is a leading mining 
state, resource potential must be addressed when considering 
the management of public lands. 

It is the responsibility of the Nevada 
Department of Minerals to advocate the responsible development 
of the state's mineral and energy resources. 

The Department recommends the multiple-use 
concept for public lands where significant resource potential 
ex ists . 

Therefore, the Nevada Department of Minerals 
supports the B.L.M. in its decisions on the Nevada Contiguous 
Lands wilderness study areas. Thank you. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you, sir. Our second speaker 
will be Connie Sinkins. 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 2 takes 
the floor) 

MS. SINKINS: Good evening. My name is Connie 



12 



American Federal Stenographers 

Wi E Cturk Atntuf, Suitr 9/fi 
Iju I'fgM, Nrtttdu t&lttl 

702-\H2lH:Vtf 



m 
i 



Sinkins and ray mailing address is P.O. Box 333, Panaca , 
Nevada, 89042. 

I speak this evening on be half of the Lincoln 
County Commissioners who have asked me to tell you that they 
strongly support the BLM proposed action in this area. 

We feel like the areas in our particular 
county that were wilderness study areas have a complete lack 
of wilderness values, isolation and roadless areas of 5,000 
acres and the outstanding qualities for solitude. 

Those items are just not available in the 
areas that are being considered in our county. 

I am, by choice, a 44 year resident of Lincoln 
County, Nevada. My home county contains 6.4 million acres of 
which 2 million are suggested as wilderness areas by our 
combined federal agency plans of Forest Service, the BLM, the 
US Fishing and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you that 32 
percent of any county anywhere is too much to be managed as 
wilderness and with 86 percent of Nevada managed by the Feds 
and a whopping 9B.16 percent of my county in Federal and we 
strong ly resist wilderness management and I believe 
wilderness management has proved counter-product ive to the 
healthy multiple use concept. 

We strong ly believe that every person from 
every walk of life has a right and privilege to use these 



13 



American Federal Stenographers 

Mil E Clark Airm,?. Shitt-tlti 

I.W Vegra. Nevada HfttfH 

702 :iH2-l)t:i>tf 



lands. This is multiple use concept in practice and we know 
i t works . 

It makes sense and it works because everyone 
has a voice in how the land is managed. In the July 27th 

In the July 27th issue of the Review Journal a 
very interesting article to me that supports what we believe 
and our feelings in this matter and it's entitled, "Camping 
Hurts Wilderness Areas," and the US Forest Official said 
today that they can't keep away from the degregation being 
done to once pretine wilderness areas and Americans are 
looking for a wilderness experience, but instead are finding 
dangerous trails, dirty and overcrowded camp sites and 
unsanitary water and much man-made pollution. 

The Director of the US Fire and Wildlife 
Service said and also rangers from six western areas said 
that more attention and money are needed for the service of 
the 32 million acres of wilderness. 

We believe that Nevada is special and we favor 
protecting the areas that are appropriate to be protected as 
wilderness considerations, but we urge that you use a common 
sense approach and we believe that the BLM is recommending in 
this case to do what is really best for this resource, our 
public lands. Thank you very much. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mrs. Sinkins. Our third 
speaker tonight will be Curtiss Robinson. Curtiss? 



14 



American Federal Stenograph? 

it)) t: Ctark Atrnar, Suilfi M/6 
U* Vrflos, Nrradm HHIOI 

702iH2DF.rtf' 



01 

I 

09 



(Whereupon Speaker Number 3 takes 
the podium) 

MR. ROBINSON: Good evening . My name is Curtiss 
Robinson. My address is 4535 West Sahara, Number 105, Las 
Vegas, Nevada 89102. 

I'd like to make a brief statement that I 
xcept the BLM proposal of the elimination of 12 out of 14 
areas and that will be about it. Thank you very much. 
MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you sir. 

Our fourth speaker tonight will be Harry 
Pappas. I hope I pronounced that correctly. 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 4 takes 
the podium) 

MR. PAPPAS: Pappas. My name is Harry Pappas and 
I'm the Executive Director for Nevada's Practical Wilderness 
Policy. That organization represents 36 different groups and 
organizations in Nevada. 

I'm also Chairman of the Nevada State Rifle 
and Pistol Association, Hunting and wilderness Committee. 

The Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association 
represent approximately 18 to 20, sportsmens and hunting 
organizations in Nevada and both of these organizations are 



15 



American Federal Stenographers 
:)0I f. Ctark Mfiuf, Suiw 91 fi 

(.us VV fi iji, Smith H'lllil 
7n2-iH2l)E!'tf 



opposed to Federal wilderness in Nevada. However, we are not 

However, we are not opposed to wilderness and 
both organizations are strongly opposed to the Federal 
designation of wilderness. 

This might seem a little odd to people that do 
not know the issue that well, but we support wilderness, 
natural wilderness and the wilderness that we have in Nevada. 
We don't support it when the Federal 
designation wilderness designations are put on those lands. 
They play into too many restrictions. 

I'm going to give one example. We have placed 
Elk on Spring Mountain Range up here at Spring Mountain and 
the table mountain areas and those Elk are not indigenous to 
those areas . 

If we had wilderness designations on Spring 
Mountain and table, those Elk could not have been allowed to 
introduce because they therefore come under an exotic 
species . 

Also, you talk about Guzzlers in Nevada and one 
!0 top name bird are Chuckers. By designating the area of 
n wilderness, it will have a severe impact on the guzzlers that 
>.2 we use for Chuckers and the guzzlers used for Bighorn 

They have to be maintained and also man-made 

24 structures that violate several provisions of the 

25 Wilderness Act. 



16 



American Federal Stenographers 

301 E Ctark .At.-Hti.-, Suite Utti 

lju VVj-as, Nrcorfu HflOS 

702-:iH2-t)t:t'tf 



CO 









1 


To summarize, I would say this organization 




2 


supports wilderness. We are against Federal wilderness and 




3 


all wilderness and all Federal wilderness in the State of 




4 


Nevada. Thank you. 




5 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Pappas. 




6 


Our next speaker tonight will be Robert 




7 
8 
9 


Maichle. 




(Whereupon Speaker Number 5 takes 




10 


the floor) 




12 


MR. MAICHLE: My name is Robert Maichle and people 




13 


call me Bob. Janaye probably recognizes me from extensive 




14 


work in the scoping process. 




15 


I would like to address some real quick 




16 


comments speaking for 4 organizations of which I am either a 




17 


principal, a director and in one case was just asked by the 




18 


Southern Director to speak to the organization and that's the 




19 


Nevada Off-Highway Users Council. 




20 


That's the best in the desert racing 




21 


association of which I am a Director and also the Motorcycle 




22 


Racing Association of Nevada. 




23 


I am the Conservation Director and I 'm Vice 




24 


President of that organization and the Gamblers Motorcycle 




25 


Club, which I am the President of . 






17 






American Federal Stenographer* 

30! E Clark Avenue. Suite HI 6 
/jis Vegas, Nevada K9I01 

702 lH2tn:i'ff 











1 


My address is 4221 West Arbu, Las Vegas, 




2 


Nevada 89118-5107. 




3 


We were pleased to read the report. We were 




4 


especially happy to see that many of our ideas were 




5 


incorporated . 




6 


We endorse part or the majority of those 




7 


actions and the speci fics where we have some other 




8 


suggestions, we will address in my written comment which is 




9 


more appropriate. 




10 


From NOHUC, the one organization that I am not 




11 


a director of even though I was asked to simply state that 




12 


NOHUC, we support the action to remove the 12 areas. 




13 


From the other three organizations, I'd like 




14 


to particularly commend the removal of the western ha If of 




15 


the El Dorado's with your designation to not include the El 




16 


Dorado's in further study and your proposal to that and to 




17 


note that in addition to the minerals that this gent leman has 




18 


mentioned, the recreation that would be curtail ed, the on- 




19 


going recreation as of '89, would be curtailed if that 




20 


portion, that western portion was continued insignificant and 




21 


I hope that will be taken into consideration. 




22 


Mr. Pappas spoke of two types of wilderness 




23 


and I should like to say that many of these areas are 




24 


wilderness in one respect. 




25 


The wilderness that I and most of us like and I 
18 






American Federal Stenographers 

301 K. Clark Meuue, Unite 9lti 

!.■»■ Vegas. Nevada H9IOI 

702 3X2-DEPtf 





i 
oo 

© 











1 


think that has become wilderness with a small w and to quote 






2 


Mr. Ma r no Id , an ecologist, said what the difference is in 






3 


wilderness with a big W and wilderness with a small w; we want 






-1 


the best management for our land and these small scraps, that 






5 


we can thank them for returning to us in the most part, do not 






6 


have opportunities for solitude and the other things. 






7 


The Basic Act of 1964 said that we should be 






8 


looking for the fact that they are not there and this is 






9 


reflected in our proposed action and I applaud again. 






10 


particularly Janaye because she's the one that 1 have worked 






11 


with the most and as I say, the organization, to submit 






12 


individual comments. Thank you very much. 






13 


MR- CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Ma i ch 1 e . 






14 


Our sixth speaker will be R i chard Wyman and 






15 


it's a flexible mike and you can move it to fit you if you 






16 


like. Be comfortable with the mike. 






17 








18 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 6 takes 






19 


the podium) 






20 








21 


MR. WYMAN: Thank you. I'm Richard Wyman, 






22 


W-Y-M-A-N, and my address is 610 Bryant Court, Boulder City, 






23 


Nevada 89005. 






24 


I am here actually representing the Southern 






25 


Nevada section of the American Institute of Mining, 




___....;_ 




19 






American Federal Stenographers 

U)l 1. rinik An-nur, Snit<- 9JA 

l.a* VVtfiv Nritidu Mini 

7U2-IN2 ttEttf 





Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, GEM Comm i t tee and 
that's the Department of Energy and Minerals Committee and 
the AIM is a professional organization of mining engineers, 
geologists and petroleum engineers. 

Primarily we endorse the Bureau of Land 
Management's position on this. It is very important that we 
keep the public lands open for mineral explorations and 
deposits of petroleum and other types of minerals of fuel, 
mineral s and others that are only found in places where nature 
put them. 

As far as if we keep locking these areas up, we 
are reducing our potential for our future and these are 
real ly locked up . 

The wilderness that we refer to as government 
wilderness is wilderness with a padlock and cable across the 
gate, something that I don't believe many people understand 
today , 

I want to speak particularly in favor of the 
Bureau of Land Management's decision on these areas, Lime 
Canyon and these are the ones that I'm particularly familiar 
with the mineral potential my self personally and the Li me and 
Million Hills, these are out in the Gold Butte country and the 
Garrett Buttes and the little one that joined there. Quail 
Springs and then down the El Dorado and the Ireteba Peaks and 
these areas have high mineral potent i al and relatively 



American Federal Stenographer* 

ill! K Viark Aittate, Suit,- tHi 

l<is VrfiU*, .V.i<iii.i HtolQl 

7ti2:iV2 t)i.ltf 



Ol 

I 

00 









1 


undisturbed areas because of lack of transportation and lack 




2 


of access . 




3 


It's not because of lack of mineral potential 




4 


and I'm very happy to see them return to the public domain. 




5 


Thank you. 




6 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Wyman . 




7 
8 
9 


Our seventh speaker will be Charles Luzier. 




(Whereupon Speaker Number 7 takes 




10 


the podium) 




11 






12 


MR. LUZIER: Yes. I'm Charles Luzier and I live at 




13 


5567 Curruth Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89120. 




14 


I'm speaking as a life long citizen of the 




15 


State of Nevada and what I have to say on this wilderness 




16 


matter is the fact that; I have probably through the years of 




17 


my life, traveled most of these roads that go through these 




16 


wilderness areas and what wilderness designation does is; It's 




19 


going to prohibit me from further enjoyment of these areas and 




20 


I don't particularly like that. 




21 


Thank you. 




22 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you, sir. 




23 


None of you are using your 3 minutes. 




24 


MALE VOICE: That's good. 




25 


MR. CHAPPELL: Speaker number 8 will be Jerry 
21 






American Federal Stenographers 

Mil t: dark Averaw. Strife- 916 

I.os 1V K «s. Nnttitu BSMOI 

?02-3H2-DEH( 











1 


Barker . 




2 






3 


{Whereupon Speaker Number 8 takes 




4 


the floor) 




5 






6 


MR. BARKER: My name is Jerry Barker and I live at 




7 


612 Huntington, Las Vegas, Nevada 89107 and I'm for the 




8 


multiple use of the lands. 




9 


I'm against wilderness areas just like the man 




10 


before me and 1 have hunted and fished all over Nevada and I 




11 


have been on roads in areas where they want to designate as 




12 


wilderness areas and I would resent it highly if I was kept 




13 


out . 




14 


I also belong to a few rock clubs in town, the 




15 


Las Vegas Gem Club and the Clark County Gem Club and also the 




16 


Gold Searchers and I would resent any infringement on me to 




17 


participate in my hobby and I know my friends feel the same 




18 


way. 




19 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Barker. 




20 


Our ninth speaker tonight will be James horn. 




21 


H-O-R-N. 




22 






23 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 9 takes 




24 


the podium) 




25 


22 






American Federal Stenographers 


Ml E ChrkAuwuf, Sirite 9/6 




/.(is \>gas. Nevada HU101 
T02-m2-DEHf 





01 

I 

00 









1 


MR. HORN: My name is James D. Horn, 1608 North 




2 


Ridgeway Drive, Glendale, California. 




3 


My objection to this thing is; I have got six 




4 


sections of land in the Gold Butte area and I have a lease on 




i 


it for 5 or 6 years yet and I do not feel - - we have expended 




6 


quite a bit of money to improve the lease and have surveys run 




7 


and everything else and we are right on the verge of starting 




e 


to drill right now and 1 would like to be able to go ahead and 




9 


do it until my time is up, if I possibly could. 




10 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you, Mr. Horn. 




11 


The tenth speaker will be Bryant Robinson. 




12 






13 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 10 takes 




14 


the podium) 




15 






16 


MR. ROBINSON: I'm Bryant Robinson and my address is 




17 


Post Office Box 70, Logandale, Nevada. 




18 


I'm a native of southern Nevada. I am 




19 


presently President of the Energy Research Corporation. I'm 




20 


also a member of the Nevada State Conservation Commission. 




21 


I do not believe that wilderness studies in 




22 


wilderness areas will in any way serve the best interest of 




23 


the citizens of Nevada. 




21 


I think that the existing multiple use plan of 




25 


the BLM does serve those interests. 

23 






American Federal Stenographers 

10J t: Clark Au-aar. Suite 9'fi 
Las IV R .». Ni-iada hHlttl 

mi-miotnt 











1 


1 think that mining is important to Nevada and 




2 


energy resources are important to the State of Nevada and I 




3 


think that wilderness areas will preclude development of any 




4 


of those resources. 




5 


I also agree with the fishermen and wildlife 




6 


uses for the State of Nevada that would be precluded with a 




7 


wilderness area. 




8 


We are particularly interested in the Gold 




9 


Butte area right now. 




10 


We do not believe that any of that area is 




11 


adaptable in any way to a wilderness area. It has been mined 




12 


for years and years and mining claims are out there and 




13 


there's nothing very substantial ever going on there, but 




14 


there is, it is covered with mineral resources and certainly 




15 


not an area that should be even considered for a wilderness 




16 


area . 




17 


I appreciate the recommendations of the BLM 




16 


presently and I think they should be conformed to. 




19 


Thank you very much. 




20 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Robinson. 




21 


Our eleventh speaker will be Phillip Henderson. 




22 






23 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 11 takes 




24 


the podium) 




25 


24 






American Federal Stenographers 




MU t Clark rSvrnur. Sui» .'IIS 


Lax Vegas, Nevada Mint 


Ttn-WIDV.IIt 



01 

I 

00 
0> 



MR. HENDERSON: My name is Phillip Henderson. I 
reside at 3841 Syracuse, S-Y-R-A-C-U-S-E Drive, Las Vegas, 
Nevada 89121. 

I'm the President of the Las Vegas Bui 1 d 1 ng 
Materials, the oldest ready-mix concrete supplier in the 
southern Nevada area. This company was founded by my father 
in 1946. 

I applaud the BLM on its multiple land use 
program, because the Clark County Management Frame Work Plan 
that was passed in 1984 mandates that BLM will not grant or 
renew any aggregate leases for any ready-mi x concrete company 
or aggregate producer in the Las Vegas Valley area. 

There are 6 ready-mix concrete compan ies in 
the Las Vegas area right now. Of those six, two compan ies 
are Las Vegas Building Materials and Bonanza Materials which 
are currently supplying all or part of the aggregate supplies 
to five of those compan ies including ourselves. 

As you can see that as encroachment occurs, as 
the depletion occurs and the existing sand and gravel pits in 
Clark County area used up, because of the Clark County 
Management Frame Work Plan which mandates the BLM will not 
allow us to renew any new leases, we must leave the valley. 

Every person here tonight arrived on an 
asphalt road and we are sitting in a building on a concrete 
pad footing, concrete blocks which form the walls and this 



American Federal Stenographers 

Ml E. Clark Arniue. Suit* 916 

f.«s \'«K«s. Heotuia «9fOJ 

702-3H2DEFtf 





1 


building would not be possible without aggregates. 




2 


I applaud BLM's plan because it helps prevent 




3 


us from putting ourselves in Denver's position where 




4 


aggregates are being trucked in from 60 and 70 miles away. 




5 


We are currently looking for aggregate 




6 


resources. We have S or 6 different resources; El Dorado 




7 


Valley, Kyle Canyon, Sloan and a number of areas that are 




8 


being released back into the public domain, which will allow 




9 


us to pursue these and providing aggregates for materials and 




10 


continued construction in one of the 10 fastest growing 




11 


cities of the United States, which will allow us to grow. 




12 


It will allow us to be price competitive and 




13 


keep construction costs down. 




14 


I applaud the BLM again and thank you for the 




15 


opportunity of speaking. 




16 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Henderson. 




17 


Number 12 will be Max Christiansen. 




18 






19 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 12 takes 




20 


the podium) 




21 






22 


ME. CHRISTIANSEN: My name is Max Christiansen and 




23 


I live at 5332 West Oakey and I represent the Nevada 




24 


Sportsmen and Outdoorsmen Association. We support the BLM's 




25 


position in turning this land back to public use. Thank you. 

26 




American Federal Stenographers 

■101 E. Clark Amur. Suite 916 

Ijis I'egaj. Nevada UM0J 

joa 3m-tx.rK 



01 
CO 



1 


MB. CHAPPELL: Thank you, sir. 




2 






3 


(Whereupon there was a brief 




4 


interruption in the proceedings 




5 


to change tapes) 




6 






7 


MB. CHAPPELL: Let's try again. 




8 


Number 13 will be Harlan Miller. 




9 






10 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 13 takes 




11 


the podium) 




12 






13 


MB. MILLER: My name is Harlan Miller and I live at 




14 


1126 Fuente Way, Boulder City, Nevada 89005. 




15 


I'm here tonight to speak for myself and my 




16 


feelings towards this proposal. 




17 


I'm in complete agreement for dropping any of 




18 


these areas from the wilderness proposal or considerations 




19 


that they had made. 




20 


The great State of Nevada was brought into 




21 


this nation with the silver that provided a grave step 


■ 


22 


towards our great nation. Further exploration into these 




23 


areas would be curtailed, if these areas are locked up. 




24 


Future development, as far as mineral 




25 


exploration in all of these areas, should go forth. My 

27 






American Federal Stenographer* 

Mil E L'larJL Aimiu: Sniff 111' 
Im t>#». Nntufa nytai 

7112 .1*2 lIKltf 









1 


My private interest in this is; I am a mineral 




2 


collector and I would like to have access to all of these 




3 


areas . 




4 


I have lived in the State of Nevada for 9 




5 


years and I plan on continuing my career here and upon 




6 


retirement, remain in the state and will support the taxes 




7 


that everyone else supports. 




8 


Therefore, upon retirement, I would like to 




9 


have the ability to go to these various areas and travel 




10 


these roads throughout the areas that are proposed. 




11 


So, the bottom line is that; I would like to 




12 


see the proposal adopted and these areas dropped form the 




13 


wilderness program. Thank you. 




14 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Millet. 




15 

16 
17 


Number 14 will be Samee Cordova. 




(Whereupon Speaker Number 14 takes 




18 
19 
20 


the podium) 




MRS. CORDOVA: My name is Samee Cordova and my 




21 


business or mailing address is Post Office Box 7432, Las 




22 


Vegas, Nevada 89125. 




23 


I'm on the Board of Directors of the Clark 




24 


County Gem Collectors. I'm President of the Fossil Finders 




25 


of Southern Nevada. 

28 






American Fetleral Stenographer* 




Mil H Ctmk .\ir,m,\ Swiff llll, 


J.,n iV K m, Miaf/a Vital 


7ll2:lH2-lll:Vif 






" ■;■'_..- ■ ; ' ' ■■.. ' ' '..";'. 



■■".'."" ''"'--''.'-'' . ' '■ ' '■■■ 



■ - ■ ■ ■■■. . 



i 
w 









1 


I'm against any wilderness areas being further 




2 


developed in the State of Nevada and I believe I speak for 




3 


both clubs and all members concerned. 




4 


Being a gem and mineral collector and involved 




5 


in ecology and paleontology, I have made some very important 




6 


discoveries towards this end in this state. 




7 


One, I'd like to be able to continue to go 




8 


into any area that I so chose and continue my research and 




9 


projects for the benefit and education of everyone in the 




10 


State of Nevada . 




11 


Thank you. 




12 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thanks Mrs. Cordova. 




13 


Excuse me if I butcher this one, but Jim 




14 


Kasarjian is Number 15. 




15 






16 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 15 takes 




17 


the podium) 




18 






19 


MB. KASARJIAN: My name is James Kasarjian and my 




20 


business address is 3311 South Jones, Suite 211, Las Vegas, 




21 


Nevada 89102. 




22 


I represent Vanderbilt Gold Corporation. We 




23 


are an active mining company in the state with corporate 




24 


headquarters in Las Vegas and currently have under our 




25 


exploration budget, over 5300,000 for exploration in areas 

29 






American Federal Stenographer* 




301 E Cla<tiAiriiuf.Suitr9lti 


Lm fcVgn*, NriiHlu ti'ltOI 


7II2-3H2 DEVtt 











1 


close to some of the areas that we are talking about. 






2 


We are a responsible mining company and have 






3 


to address the environment and conduct ion of business 






•i 


throughout the state in some areas that may be under 






5 


cons i deration for wilderness areas. 






fi 


One of our projects which we are currently 






7 


doing exploration in is virgin territory. Nobody thought 






6 


there was anything there. Even the old timers and even much 






g 


of our financing of substantial mineral potential. 






10 


My basic point is; many of the roads we travel 






11 


and many of the places we enjoy and are able to visit were by 






12 


in large created by mining compan ies , whether it was by burro 






13 


or wagon-train or trackless railroad or the railroad itself 






14 


and I think it's a great detr iment to block off areas and do 






15 


economic harm to the State of Nevada. 






16 


We contribute substantially hundreds of 






17 


thousands of dollars every year to GMP, to the State of 






18 


Nevada and I think it should be recognized just what the 






19 


dollar contribution that we do contribute, especially to 






20 


counties such as Lincoln County, which we have claims in. 






21 


They would hope fully enjoy some of the 






22 


benefits of our activities and we feel it a shame to be 






23 


locked up. 






24 


I do support the BLM. Thank you. 






25 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Kasarjian. 








30 






American Federal Stenographers 

301 E. Clark Atntue. Suite SJfi 

las Vrgat. titradu HUtOI 

702-:iK2in:i'tf 





en 

i 

& 









1 


MR. KASARJIAN: Good. 




2 


MR. CHAPPELL: Our 16th speaker will be Dorsey 




3 

4 


Stewart . 




5 


(Whereupon Speaker Number 16 takes 




6 


the podium) 




8 


MS. STEWART: My name is Dorsey Stewart and I am 




9 


living at 5325 East Cheyenne Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89115- 




10 


3501 . 




11 


I belong to the Clark County Gem Collectors, 




12 


the Las Vegas Gem Club, the Gold Searchers of Southern Nevada 




13 


and the Nevada Sportsmen and Outdoorsmen Association. 




14 


I would like to also speak for the Boulder 




15 


City Rock Club and I was talking to one of their members just 




16 


before we got here and she said, "Please tell them we ate 




17 


with you." 




18 


We definitely support the feeling of the BLM 




19 


that these areas should be returned to multiple use in 




20 


pursuit of our hobbies, multiple hobbies and we need these 




21 


lands to go out and look for rocks. 




22 


The only thing we are going to be hunting 




23 


with, if these are closed, is what they call the dream pick 




24 


or the dollar bill we'll have to go to South America for our 




25 


things . 

31 






American Federal Stenographers 




Mil K Clark Aimuc. Suite »J6 


Us VV#», Ncm</« K9/tt( 


702-3A2 J>£*Sf 



We really don't want our mineral resources 
locked up. Fair trade with the rest of the world is okay, 
but let's not get ridiculous by buying all of theirs and 
destroy! ng ours with wilderness padlocks. 

Jerry Baker told you about his hobby which he 
wants to pursue it and he makes beautiful jewelry, he also 
does gorgeous scrimshaw carvings and Samee Cordova also 
belongs to our club and has discovered some very valuable 
fossil deposits which would not have been known if it weren't 
for her expertise and her, I call it "fossil-nose." 

Nothing derogatory meant on that, but and the 
concrete industry, please I'm getting tired of walking on 
rocks . 

I need my dr i veway concreted. Let's leave all 
of these things open for multiple use, please. 

Thank you. 
MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mrs. Stewart. 

Number 17 is Perry Dickerson, 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 17 takes 
the podium) 

MR. DICKERSON: My name is Perry Dickerson and I 
resid-j dt 615 Diamond Circle, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106. 

I'm a 1 i ve member of the National Rifle 



32 



American Federal Stenographers 

Mil E Chirk .Ai.Tiu.', Suiir «JJft" 

U* W«.is, NriiKfd H9W1 

7(I2-:IH-1 W.l'tf 



01 

I 
m 









1 


Association, the Nevada State Rifle and Pistol Association, 




2 


the California State Rifle and Pistol Association, Desert 




3 


Sportsmen Rifle and Pistol Association and past President of 




4 


all of them except the California and National. 




5 


I am currently President of Bighorn Rifle and 




6 


Pistol Association. We are very much interested in seeing 




7 


that the federal government ceases and desists on the so- 




a 


called wilderness reform that we have. 




9 


Due to the lack of management, we are rapidly 




10 


approaching and a good many areas of our nation, has the 




11 


situation that occurred in the early 1920's where virtually 




12 


the distinction of deer. Elk, antelope and most of our 




13 


wildlife, with the exception of turkeys, which we have plenty 




14 


of in some areas in 1928. 




15 


For instance, Missouri, we had no deer, 




16 


countable and in Pennsylvania, we had somewhere in the 




17 


neighborhood of 12,000 and Arizona was down to around 40,000 




18 


over the state due to the hunters and the American Ri f leman 




19 


and I believe somewhere in the neighborhood of 590 billion 




20 


dollars which they have spent since the Pitman Robinson Act 




21 


in Wildlife Management. 




22 


We have brought our deer herds and animal 




23 


wildlife back to where you know, we can have a decent harvest 




24 


and keep these animals growing. 




25 


The so-called road less areas that we have in 
33 






American Federal Stenographer* 




101 E CJark Auiw, Suite 916 


/.«.•. Vr&n, Nevada H9101 


702 IHlDEftf 



one of the handouts out front, it showed some pictures of 
them. 

There's one gentleman that spoke here and I 
have drive most of these roads in Nevada, southern Las Vegas, 
Nevada and I have hauled in excess of 250 juniors, both boys 
and girls throughout southern Nevada on various outings, 
teaching them to shoot. 

We have traveled these so-called roadless 
areas and have never even so much as bent a cactus. 

Most of our off-road team treats our country 
that way and they respect it and such as the Gem Club people. 

We 11, I was in Washington in August last year 
and testified at a hearing at that time. Well, maybe I 
hadn't better go into that. Anyway, I believe that the BLM 

Anyway, I believe that the BLM is doing the 
right thing in dropping these things and we are behind you. 

Thank you. 
MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Dickerson. 

Number 18 is Ray Buckland. 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 18 takes 
the podium) 

MR. BUCKLAND: My name is Ray Buckland and my 
address is Post Office Box 8120 Nevada. 



34 



American Federal Stenographer* 

Mil E Clark Avenue, Suite 916 

/-a* VVfiss, Nnutla H9I0I 

702.1H2t)Et'tf 



I 'm Vice President of the Energy Research, 
Incorporated and presently involved in oil well drillings 
projects in Gold Butte and to this date, the Gold Butte area, 
1 venture to say, has probably been close to a million 
dollars spent in the exploration and development of the 
petroleum production in the State of Nevada, and by the BLM 
coming in with this WSA study areas, that will restrict a lot 
of this and restrict revenue for the State of Nevada. 

The 12 percent of the money that's or the 
percentage of the oil that is taken out of the State of 
Nevada, the BLM gets 12 1/2 percent of the 6 1/2 percent of 
that returned to the State of Nevada and that revenue goes 
towards the school district in the State of Nevada and a good 
portion of the population. 

So, by putting in these wilderness areas 
throughout the state, you restrict not only mineral 
exploration, drilling, mining and other exploration, but you 
also restrict funds derived from those products that will go 
to the education to future generations in our state and I'm 
from California and I haven't been here that long. 

But the thing is; that the benefit from leaving 
these lands for multiple use, so everybody can benefit from 
them, the sportsmen, the rockhounds and the geologists and the 
petroleum mining or whatever, I feel that is, this would 
really be very much in a detriment to the state if they 



American Federal Stenographers 

3tlt E Clark Aimuf. Suite if 16 

La» Vegas, te-mifo HiMU 

702--.IH2 imtf 



restrict this by developing WSA study areas. 
Thank you. 
MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Buckland. 

Our 19th speaker will be Geoff Arnold. 

(Whereupon Speaker Number 19 takes 
the podium) 

MR. ARNOLD: My name is Geoff Arnold and just some 
general comments. 

My address is 2312 North Green Valley Parkway 
in Hender son . 

I'm a CPA and I'm Controller for Viceroy Gold 
Corporation and Past President of the Elko Chamber of 
Commerce and founding member of Nevadans for Practical 
Wilderness Pol icy. 

Some general comments; we support the efforts 
of the BLM in which drafting some of these proposed areas for 
wi 1 derness . 

It is unfair to leave lands tied up with WSA ' s . 
It has been a tactic of groups like the Sierra Club to try and 
tie up lands and eventually in both foreign development 
services, for those lands to be put into multiple use. 

I 'm recently new to gold mining and I have met 
geologists and I have come to admire geologists and I find 



36 



American Federal Stenographers 
Mi t: CtarJt Ai-mwf , Suit,- urn 

f.tJi Vegas. Set tula hfUOl 

702-:m t)i:rtf 



01 

00 

<fi> 









I 


that most geologists are environmentalists at heart. 




2 


One thing I have learned is that geologists, 




3 


although they are professional, are not really very good at 




A 


finding minerals. In the discovery of minerals, including 




5 


gold, which is largely a function of luck of exploratory 




6 


dr i 1 1 l ng . 




7 


In our mine, which we have determined we have 


8 


preserves of gold of about 400 million dollars which would 




9 


not have been discovered, would it not have been found just 




10 


by looking at the surface. 




11 


It was luck and drilling and we support the 




12 


multiple use concept which we think that wilderness is a 




13 


concept, but by definition is of no use or no management at 




U 


all and we believe that the BLM has the capacity to manage 




15 


proper ty . 




16 


We believe that the property will become more 




17 


affectively utilized and more productive and better preserved 




18 


for the future if it's well managed. 




19 


So, we support the BLM and your efforts there. 




20 


especially in the political environment where it may be 




21 


popular to withdraw land from use totally. We believe that 




22 


We believe that the United States needs to work 




23 


on its balance of payments/deficits. There's a balance of 




21 


payments, deficits in gold. 




25 


So, we need to take advantage of the mineral 
37 






American federal Stenographers 




301 K (Mirk \trauf, SuitrHlb 


tj& IVjjm, Nnada Willi 


7<>23H2l>F-ft< 



deposits that we have and you only have gold where you find 
it. 

My observations from here tonight and other 
public scoping meetings and from all of the public hearings 
that we had in Elko several years ago and over the past few 
years, my observations are that the proposal for wilderness 
comes through outside the local area. 

They come from people in the big cities that 
think it's a good idea to tell the local people how we should 
live our lives and whether we should not survive economically 
at all . 

One other comment is that; although you have 
withdrawn a large degree of land from wilderness proposals, 
you have kept some and that's not bad, but I want to note that 
if you have small areas, even though they are small and they 
are spread about, there's the requirement having to do with 
Class I aerial zones over those wilderness areas that would 
limit exploration in those areas. 

So affectively, the area that you' re 
withdrawing from mineral exploration is Larger. Thank you. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Arnold. 

Are there any others that would like to give a 
speech? 

MR. SAYER: Yes sir. My name is Wayne Sayer, 
S-A-Y-E-R and I live at 4213 Canal Circle, Las Vegas, Nevada. 



Atnerican Federal Stenographers 

301 K Clark Aunue, Suit* <Ji/> 

/..js Vrffa. Nrradu wtftl 

7Q2~3H2-i)KI9f 






1 


My interest in speaking here tonight is for the 




2 


future. I dm President of Super Conductor Resources 




3 


Corporation. We specialize in the land lancinite series of 




4 


rare earth. It's an area that has not been explored in Nevada 




5 


very much. It's material is being produced at Mountain Pass. 




6 

7 


I'm a retired mineral and gas broker and I have 
lived in California. I think any effort to preserve the 




8 


foreclosure to exploration of new minerals is probably a good 




9 


step in the right direction and I want to endorse the BLM, 




1D 


their stand in this matter tonight. Thank you. 




11 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you Mr. Sayer. 




12 


Are there any others? 




13 


MR. POULSEN: Yes sir. I'm Eldon Poulsen, 4360 




H 


Malaga Drive, 89121, Las Vegas. 




15 


What I would like to suggest is; we give a vote 




16 


of thanks to all the various miners and mining companies 




17 


having traveled from Western Utah, Eastern Nevada and most of 




IB 


the State of Nevada and the bulk of the off-roads that are 




19 


available to us and as hunters and sportsmen, we find 




20 


exploring paid people were put there by the miners. 




21 


These people going and spend a lot of money 




22 


opening up these areas so we, the people, can use them. 




23 


If we make these wilderness areas, the only 




24 


people that can use them, are the physically fit, 18 to 2 




25 


year olds and when you get to be 35, you start down hill and 

39 






American federal Stenographer* 




30/ A: Ctark Arruae, Suite 9JS 


(xv Vrffis.NrKHttikfUOl 


?<>2:lK2-l)£l'tl 



i 


at 30, they grease the track. 




2 


So, if they don't have roads on these areas, 




3 


nobody is going to be able to use them. 




4 


I would like to applaud the idea of getting out 




5 


of the wilderness area and opening them up, so that everybody 




6 


can use them. If we would have gone with this concept, 150 




7 


years ago, we'd all be east of the Mississippi. Thank you. 




8 


MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you. Are there any others? 




9 


MR. ROBINSON: I'm Dell Robinson and I've lived 




10 


in this state since 1909. I have traveled all over in 




11 


different capacities and I have walked a goodly share of it. 




12 


I know a lot of mineral resources that some of 




13 


you fellows would be very glad to know about and I'm against 




14 


in any way, prohibiting people from going where they want to. 




15 


but I'm also against them traveling and making roads and 




16 


tearing the country up. 




17 


I can tell you or show you a road that was made 




18 


to my knowledge, well over 70 years ago and it's still there 




19 


and across the desert and it will be there for a hundred or so 




20 


more years. 




21 


So, I would ask you that when you are out 




22 


traveling with your dune buggies and whatever, don't make a 




23 


lot of new roads. They stay there and they mar the desert. 




24 


They mar the beauty of our country and you may 




25 


not realize it, but if you will travel over this country in an 

40 






American Federal Stenographers 

Mil E. dark Ait-nut; Suilt- 916 

Ijts VV S fjs. Nnmia ttSIQI 

702iK2DEI& 





01 

f 
to 



airplane and look foe some roads, you will see some roads and 
you think you could get down them and really travel on, but if 
you got down there with a 4-wheel drive outfit, you'd have a 
tough time traveling them. 

But, when you disturb the desert, it's 
disturbed for a long time. Be careful. I have been on this 

I have been on this desert as I say - - well, 
more years than most of you people could imagine, but this is 
a beautiful country and the desert is beautiful. 

I have liked it and I have hunted it and I have 
hunted for uranium and maybe I could tell you a little bit 
about uranium. Maybe you will want to go and find it. 

There's some big high sand stone mountains here 
in Clark County and in those sand stone, huge sand stone 
mountains, you will find a little strip, maybe 1/2 inch thick 
of high grade uranium. It will send your geiger counter 
crazy . 

On that same strip, it has got about 500 feet 
somewhere near that and there's sand stone on top of it and 
it's all lying level and you can walk around, drive around for 
a quarter of a mile or maybe more than that. 

Years ago, it wasn 1 t hard for me to travel 
a quarter of a mile. It would be several miles now, but 
anyway, you can drive around this big sand stone lake and you 
will find this little strip of turnapar (pho) coming out 



41 



American Federal Stenographers 

Mi K Clark. \tmw. Suit? HI (i 

/.<ii Vr&U, \ritntti hHlOl 

702-3H2-DEltf 



the other side of it. 

And I can get there. How do you get there, is 
there any geologist that can tell me that? 

It's only about an inch thick and it's buried 
up under hundreds of feet of sand stone, but it goes clear 
around the same level. 

I'd like to ask you folks that have your dune 
buggies and your motorcycles and other stuff, to travel on 
places that have been traveled. Don't go to new places , 
because you build a road and it's there from now on. 

Don't destroy the desert, please. I think I 
told you who I was, Dell Robinson and I came to this - - 
Clark County in 1909 and I wasn't born here but I came here in 
1909 and I seen some changes. 

So, there will be some more changes and we 
better protect the country as we travel and go. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Thank you, Mr. Robinson. 

Are there any others who would like to speak? 
MR. MAICHLE: I checked on the ground rules when I 
came in and it said one shot at the podium. 

MR. PAPPAS: Do we have a chance to ask questions? 
MS. BYERGO: it's strictly a hearing and we are not 
here to answer questions this even ing, but just to take 
test imony . 

You are welcome to come into the office any 



42 



American Federal Stenographers 

Wl E Clark Mem,,-. Siutr 9IS 

i.a\ Vrgas. Nevada s'noi 

7G2-3S2 DEI'tf 



01 

I 
(0 



time and I will be available £or questions. 

MR. CHAPPELL: Ate there any others? Mr. Maichle? 

MR. MAICHLE: Could I have ray last minute. I only 
talked for 2. 

MR. CHAPPELL: One shot at the mike. We appreciate 
your com i ng . 

I frankly was intense myself as to what I'd 
find here tonight. Your frank, open, heart-felt comments I 
know are appreciated by Mrs. Byergo and Mts. Hansen and we 
thank you for coming out and this meeting is adjourned. 

(Whereupon hearing proceedings 
were adjourned) 



American Federal Stenographers 

■till i: Clark Amine, Suite 916 

lit* VegfU. Nrtwkl h'ilul 

Itil-lHl tlr'.l'rf 



STATE OF NEVADA 1 CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER 

: ss 
COUNT* OF CLARK ) 

I, Patti Fernandez, CSR #129, duly commissioned Notary 
Public, Clark County, State of Nevada, do hereby certify 

That I reported the taking of the hearing of the BUREAU 
OF LAND MANAGEMENT, NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT E.I.S., 
PUBLIC TESTIMONY, commencing on the 3rd of August, 1988, at 
the hour of 7:15 P.M. That I thereafter transcribed my said 
shorthand notes and that the typewritten transcript of said 
hearing is a complete, true and accurate transcript of my 
shorthand notes. 

I further certify that I am not a relative or employee of 
the parties, attorneys or counsel involved in said action, nor 
a person financially interested in the action. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and 
ffixed my official seal in my office in the County of Clark 



State of Nevada, this /*■//} day Of ^ 

^ATTI FER 



1988 



/ 



'/./ <'■- -y 



NANDEZ, C.S.R. 




NoUry PubJic-Blirt Of Ni*MI 
COUNTY OF CtANK 

P«u Mane Fernandfi 

My ApwHttlftMOl [*pr M 
OO l< POtl 



44 



American Federal Stenographers 

101 E Clark fartim, Suift- flili 

l.a* \Vkns. Nevada HUtUl 

im tin m:\if 



01 

I 



10 

11 



14 

15 
1G 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 



BEFORE THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



HEARING OF THE NEVADA CONTIGUOUS 

LANDS DRAFT WILDERNESS 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDING S 

AUGUST 4, 138 8 

RENO, NEVADA 



REPORTED BY: 



MICHELE WHITE, CSR #282 
CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER 



-»".^nr?»r»ll| 



9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
1 7 
1B 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 



APPEARANCES : 

FOR THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: 

JOHN CHAPPELL, PRESIDING OFFICER 
JANAYE BYERGO, TEAM LEADER 
LINDA HANSEN, WILDERNESS SPECIALIST 
SHAARON NETHERTON, WILDERNESS SPECIALIST 
LYNN CLEMONS, WILDERNESS SPECIALIST 

ALSO PRESENT: PEPPER SCHULTZ , B.L.M. ELECTRONIC SPECIALIST 



RENO, NEVADA 



7:15 P.M. 



LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS HEARING WILL 



AUGUST 4, 198 a 

MR. CHAPPELL: 
COME TO ORDER. 

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME. MY NAME IS JOHN CHAPPELL. 
I'M AN EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST WITH THE BUREAU OF LAND 
MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OFFICE HERE IN RENO. I WILL BE THE 
PRESIDING OFFICER AT THIS HEARING. 

THIS HEARING IS TO DETERMINE - IS BEING HELD TO 
RECEIVE INFORMATION, VIEWS, COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ON THE 
ADEQUACY OF THE NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LAND DRAFT Wl LDEHNESS 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT PREPARED BY THE BUREAU OF LAND 
MANAGEMENT. THIS HEARING GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE 
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AND PH I VATE SECTORS OF THE COMMUNITY. 
IN ADDITION, WE WELCOME WRITTEN COMMENTS RECEIVED DURING THE 
REVIEW AND COMMENT PERIOD, WHICH WILL CLOSE ON SEPTEMBER 1 7TH , 
1988. 

TWO HEARINGS ARE BEING SCHEDULED FOR THIS DRAFT 
STATEMENT. THE FIRST WAS HELD LAST NIGHT IN LAS VEGAS AND THE 



01 

I 

so 

i- 



9 
10 
11 
1 2 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
IS 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 



SECOND HERE TONIGHT IN RENO. 

THE B.L.M. HAS APPOINTED A PANEL TO RECEIVE YOUR 
COMMENTS. SEATED WITH ME HERE TONIGHT ARE THE FOLLOWING B.L.M. 
EMPLOYEES: JANAYE BYERGO . SHE'S THE TEAM LEADER FOR THE NEVADA 
CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT Wl LDERNESS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 
STATEMENT. SHE'S A WILDERNESS SPECIALIST IN THE LAS VEQAS 
DISTRICT OFFICE. LINDA HANSEN, A WILDERNESS SPECIALIST WITH THE 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT IN RENO IN THE STATE OFFICE. SHAARON 
NETHERTON, A WILDERNESS SPECIALIST IN OUR ELY DISTRICT OFFICE. 
AND LYNN CLEMONS , A WILDERNESS SPECIALIST IN OUR WINNEMUCCA 
B.L.M. OFFICE. PEPPER SCHULTZ IS THE MAN THAT HAS SET UP OUR 
WIRING FOR OUR MICROPHONES. HE'S AN ELECTRONIC SPECIALIST IN 
OUR NEVADA STATE OFFICE. 

AN OFFICIAL RECORDER WILL MAKE A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT OF 
THIS HEARING, AND IT IS ALSO RECORDED. TO ENSURE A COMPLETE AND 
ACCURATE RECORD, WE REQUEST THAT ONLY ONE PERSON SPEAK AT A TIME 
WHILE THE HEARING IS IN SESSION. NO ONE WILL BE RECOGNIZED 
OTHER THAN THE DESIGNATED SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HEARING 
PANEL. MICHELE WHITE OF STATE-WIDE REPORTING IS THE RECORDER. 

I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT WE ARE HOLDING THIS MEETING TO 
OBTAIN YOUR VIEWS. TO DO THIS THERE ARE CERTAIN GUIDELINES 
WHICH MUST BE OBSERVED DURING THE HEARING TO BEST USE THE TIME 
ALLOWED. THESE GUIDELINES ARE LISTED FOR YOU ON THE HANDOUT, 
AND I 'LL GO OVER THEM NOW. THIS IS THE HANDOUT THAT WAS 
AVAILABLE ON THE TABLE WHEN YOU FIRST CAME IN. I'LL GO OVER 



10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

1 5 

16 

17 

1 8 

19 

20 

21 

22 

23 

24 

25 



THOSE GUIDELINES. 

A., PLEASE CONFINE YOUR STATEMENTS TO YOUR VIEWS ON THE 
PROPOSED ACTION AND THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT. ANY 
OTHER REMARKS ARE INAPPROPRIATE AT THIS HEAH I NG . B., THIS 
HEARING IS STRICTLY DESIGNATED FOR YOU TO GIVE INFORMATION TO 
US, THE B.L.M.; THEREFORE, THERE WILL BE NO DEBATE OR 
CROSS-QUESTIONS BETWEEN PARTICIPANTS. C, AS FEDERAL 
REPRESENTATIVES, WE MUST FOLLOW COMPLETION OF THE NATIONAL 
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT PROCESS, DECIDE ON THE MERITS OF THE 
PROPOSED ACTION. PART OF THAT PROCESS IS SEEKING YOUR VIEWS 
WHICH WILL ASSIST US IN OUR DELIBERATIONS AND WHICH WILL BE 
CONSIDERED PRIOR TO MAKING A DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPOSED 
ACTION. 

AGAIN -- I AGAIN STRESS WE ARE HERE TO LISTEN TO YOUR 
VIEWS. THE HEARING PANEL MAY ASK CLARIFYING QUESTIONS AS 
NECESSARY AT THE CONCLUSION OF EACH SPEAKER'S STATEMENT. THESE 
QUESTIONS, HOWEVER, SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS EXPRESSIONS OF 
ANY PREDETERMINED POSITION OF THE PANEL MEMBER, THE BUREAU OF 
LAND MANAGEMENT OR THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR. 

D., ALL SPEAKERS WILL CONFINE THEIR REMARKS TO THREE 
MINUTES OR LESS. THE PERSON SITTING WITH THE COURT RECORDER 
WILL ACT AS TIMEKEEPER. LINDA HANSEN HAS A TIMER, AND I WILL 
INFORM YOU WHEN ONE MINUTE REMAINS WITH THE HIGH SIGN OF A 
FINGER. 

E. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BOTH AN ORAL AND A 



1 

2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 

to 

11 
12 



15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
2/1 
25 



WRITTEN STATEMENT, I SUGGEST YOUR ORAL STATEMENT HIGHLIGHT THE 
POINTS WHICH YOU WISH TO MAKE, STAYING WITHIN THE SPECIFIED 
THREE-MINUTE TIME FRAME. IF YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT ONLY A WRITTEN 
STATEMENT, WE ASSURE YOU THAT IT WILL BE GIVEN THE SAME 
CONSIDERATION AS THE ORAL STATEMENTS MADE TONIGHT. COPIES OF 
WRITTEN STATEMENTS SHOULD INCLUDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND THE 
ORGANIZATION, IF ANY, THAT YOU REPRESENT. WHEN YOU ARE CALLED 
ON TO SPEAK, COPIES OF YOUR STATEMENT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE 
HEARING COORDINATOR SITTING WITH THE RECORDER. 

TO CLARIFY A POINT THAT CAME UP IN LAS VEGAS LAST 
NIGHT: IF YOU STAND AT THE PODIUM AND DON'T HAVE A WRITTEN 
PREPARATION, FINE. WHEN YOU SPEAK, YOU'RE SPEAK I NG Wl THOUT 
NOTES, THAT'S FINE. WE DON'T EXPECT A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF YOUR 
SPEECH THAT YOU'RE GIVING. JUST A CLARIFICATION. 

WRITTEN STATEMENTS CAN ALSO BE SUBMITTED TO THE BUREAU 
OF LAND MANAGEMENT HERE IN RENO AND TO THE BUREAU OF LAND 
MANAGEMENT AT OUR LAS VEGAS DISTRICT OFFICE. THE RENO OFFICE IS 
THE NEVADA STATE OFFICE, P.O. BOX 12000, RENO, NEVADA, a9520. 
THE LAS VEGAS DISTRICT OFFICE IS P.O. BOX 26569, LAS VEGAS, 
NEVADA, 89126; AND MARK THAT ENVELOPE TO THE ATTENTION OF THE 
WILDEHNESS D.E.I.S. TEAM LEADER. 

STATEMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 17, 1988. 
THOSE INDICATING - THOSE WHO INDICATED TO US PRIOR TO 
THE HEARING A DESIRE TO PRESENT A STATEMENT TODAY WILL SPEAK 
FIRST. FOLLOWING THE SCHEDULED SPEAKERS WE WILL HEAR FROM AS 



2 

3 
4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
13 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 



MANY OF THE REST OF YOU AS TIME PERMITS. SPEAKERS NOT PRESENT 
WHEN CALLED WILL BE PLACED AT THE END OF THE LIST. 

FINALLY, TRANSCRIPTS OF THESE PROCEEDINGS WILL BE 
AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW IN B.L.M.'S RENO AND LAS VEGAS DISTRICT 
OFFICE. COPIES CAN BE PURCHASED FROM STATE -WIDE REPORTING, 160 1 
BONITA VISTA DRIVE IN SPARKS, NEVADA, 89431. THEIR TELEPHONE 
NUMBEH IS 356-5883. IF YOU WANT THIS ADDRESS AT ANY TIME 
AFTERWARD, I'LL HAVE IT HERE. WE DO NOT HAVE BUSINESS CARDS 
THAT WE CAN PASS OUT TO YOU, BUT I 'VE GOT THE ADDRESS IF YOU 
WANT IT. THESE WILL BE PURCHASED FROM STATE -WIDE REPORTING BY 

YOU. 

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: WHAT WAS THAT PHONE NUMBER AGA I N7 

MR. CHAPPELL: THAT'S 356-5883. 

MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: THANK YOU. 

MR. CHAPPELL: IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS ON THE 
HEARING PROCEDURES, WE WILL ANSWER THEM NOW. 

MS. JANAYE BYERGO WILL BHIEFLY DESCRIBE THE PROPOSED 
ACTION, AND THEN WE WILL PROCEED WITH THE PUBLIC COMMENT. 

JANAYE? 

MS. BYERGO. WELCOME AND THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING THIS 
EVENING. BEFORE STARTING TONIGHT'S HEARING, I WOULD LIKE TO 
PRESENT A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES 
ANALYZED IN THE NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT WILDERNESS 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. 

THIRTEEN WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS AND ONE INSTANT STUDY 



1 AREA WERE ADDRESSED IN THE NEVADA CONTIGUOUS LANDS DRAFT 

2 WILDERNESS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. THESE STUDY AREAS 

3 ENCOMPASS SOME TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN 

4 ACRES LOCATED WITHIN CLARK, LINCOLN, WHITE PINE AND HUMBOLDT 

5 COUNTIES. NEVADA. AN ALL WILDERNESS AND NO Wl LDERNESS / NO ACTION 

6 ALTERNATIVE WERE ANALYZED FOR EACH OF THE WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 

7 AND THE ONE INSTANT STUDY AREA. THE ALL WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE 

8 REPRESENTS CLOSE TO THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE ACREAGE THAT COULD BE 

9 RECOMMENDED SUITABLE FOR WILDERNESS DESIGNATION WITHIN EACH 

10 STUDY AREA. NO PORTION OF A STUDY AREA IS RECOMMENDED SUITABLE 

11 UNDER THE NO ACTION/NO WILDERNESS ALTERNATIVE. FIVE OF THE 

12 FOURTEEN STUDY AREAS WERE ANALYZED FOR A PARTIAL WILDERNESS 

13 ALTERNATIVE. THIS ALTERNATIVE RECOMMMENDS AS SUITABLE FOR 

14 WILDERNESS DESIGNATION LESS THAN THE TOTAL ACREAGE OF A STUDY 

15 AREA IN ORDER TO ALLOW FOR RESOURCE CONFLICTS AND MANAGEABILITY 

16 CONSIDERATIONS. THE PROPOSED ACTION FOR THE MARBLE CANYON AND 

17 LIME CANYON WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS RECOMMENDED PORTIONS OF EACH 

18 AS SUITABLE FOR WILDERNESS DESIGNATION FOR A TOTAL OF TWENTY-TWO 

19 THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY- FIVE ACRES. THE PROPOSED ACTION 

20 FOR THE REMAINING ELEVEN WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS AND THE ONE 

21 INSTANT STUDY AREA RECOMMENDED THE NO ACTION/NO WILDERNESS 

22 ALTERNATIVE. 

23 SEVERAL ISSUES AND CONCERNS WERE IDENTIFIED BY THE 

24 PUBLIC AND B.L.M. STAFF DURING THE SCOPING PROCESS THAT WAS 

25 CONDUCTED LAST AUGUST, 1987. THE EXPLORATION FOR AND 



1 DEVELOPMENT OF NONENERGY MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY RESOURCES, 

2 WILDERNESS VALUES, LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENTS AND MAINTENANCE 

3 ACTIVITIES, LEVELS OF MOTORIZED RECREATIONAL USE, DEVELOPMENT OF 

4 UTILITIES AND MATERIAL SITES, CRUCIAL DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT 

5 AND LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT HABITAT WERE THE MAJOR ISSUES 

6 ADDRESSED AND CARRIED THROUGH THE IMPACT ANALYSIS POHTION OF 

7 THIS DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT WE ARE ADDRESSING THIS 

8 EVENING. 

9 AGAIN I WOULD LIKE TO STRESS WE ARE ACCEPTING COMMENTS 

10 UNTIL SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1988; AND I WILL NOW TURN OUR HEARING OVER 

11 TO MR. CHAPPELL. 

12 MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU, JANAYE . 

13 AS SPEAKERS ARE CALLED, PLEASE GIVE A COPY OF YOUR 

14 STATEMENT, IF YOU HAVE ONE, TO THE CLERK AT THE TABLE; AND WE 

15 WILL GET TO THAT. 

16 MS. BYERGO: HE HAS A QUESTION. 

17 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER; WHERE CAN WE GET A COPY OF THE 

18 IMPACT STATEMENT? 

19 MR. CHAPPELL: WE'LL BRING ONE TO YOU RIGHT NOW. 

20 WOULD YOU GIVE THAT TO CHUCK. 

21 YOU WON'T HAVE TIME TO READ IT TONIGHT. 

22 AS SPEAKERS ARE CALLED, PLEASE GIVE A COPY OF YOUR 

23 STATEMENT, IF YOU HAVE ONE, TO JANAYE; AND SHE WILL CRANK THAT 

24 INTO THE FINAL DATA THAT THEY'RE COLLECTING ALONG WITH THE ORAL 

25 TRANSCRIPTS WE GET. PLEASE BEGIN YOUR ORAL STATEMENT BY STATING 



10 

11 

12 
13 
14 
15 
18 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
2 2 
23 
24 
2 5 



YOUR NAME, YOUR ADDRESS AND THE ORGANIZATION YOU REPRESENT, IF 
ANY. 

OUR FIRST SPEAKER TONIGHT IS STEVE FRIBERG. 
MR. FRIBERG: MY NAME IS STEVE FRIBERG. I LIVE AT 265 
CLIFF VIEW COURT, RENO, NEVADA, 89523. I'M SELF-EMPLOYED, A 
GEOLOGIST. 

MY COMMENTS ARE VERY BRIEF. I AM OPPOSED TO ANY 
WITHDRAWAL OF THESE THIRTEEN AREAS, THE TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND 
ACRES THAT YOU'RE PROPOSING, FROM MULTIPLE USE AND PLACING THEM 
INTO WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS. I FEEL THAT THIS ATTEMPT TO 
DESIGNATE THESE AS W.S.A.'S IS INAPPROPRIATE AT THIS TIME AND 
THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED IN SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND ALSO 
IT'S OF VERY GREAT COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. 

THAT REALLY CONCLUDES MY COMMENTS AT THIS TIME. I HAVE 
NOT HAD TIME TO GO THROUGH THIS VOLUME YET. THANK YOU. 

MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU, MR. FRIBERG. AGAIN, A 
WRITTEN STATEMENT UP THROUGH THE 17TH OF SEPTEMBER AFTER YOU'VE 
READ IT. 

OUR SECOND SPEAKER TONIGHT IS TERRY KNIGHT. TERRY 
KNIGHT HAD CALLED IN, AND I DON'T KNOW HER; SO, WE'LL MOVE HER 
TO THE BACK OF THE ROW. 

OUR THIRD SPEAKER TONIGHT IS - OUR SECOND SPEAKER 
TONIGHT IS ALLEN MOSS. 
ALLEN? 
MR. MOSS: GOOD EVENING. MY NAME IS ALLEN MOSS. I 



10 

11 

12 
13 
14 
IS 
1 6 
17 
IB 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 



LIVE HERE IN RENO. I AM REPRESENTING THE WESTERN SHOSHONE 
NATIONAL COUNSEL. I HAVE A SHORT STATEMENT TO READ HERE. I'LL 
LEAVE A COPY WITH YOUR SECRETARY. IT'S OVER THE WESTERN 
SHOSHONE LAND RIGHTS. 

IN 1863 THE UNITED STATES ENTERED INTO A SOLEMN TREATY 
OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WESTERN SHOSHONE NATION. THE 
TREATY OF RUBY VALLEY RECOGNIZES THE EXISTENCE OF THE WESTERN 
SHOSHONE NATION AND ITS RIGHT TO OCCUPY ITS ANCESTRAL LANDS IN 
NEVADA. THE TREATY HAS NEVER BEEN VIOLATED BY THE WESTERN 
SHOSHONE NATION, AND IT HAS NEVER BEEN ABROGATED BY THE UNITED 
STATES. THE TREATY DOES CEDE ANY WESTERN SHOSHONE LAND IN THE 
UNITED STATES. 

THE TITLE TO THE WESTERN SHOSHONE ANCESTRAL LANDS HAS 
NEVER BEEN LEGALLY EXTINGUISHED. THE ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH A 
WILDERNESS AREA WITHIN THE WESTERN SHOSHONE TERRITORY BY THE 
AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS PREMATURE. 
SHOULD YOU WISH TO PROCEED WITH YOUR PLANS TO ESTABLISH 
WILDERNESS AREAS WITHIN THE WESTERN SHOSHONE ANCESTRAL 
HOMELANDS, CONTACT THE REAL OWNERS OF THIS LAND, WHICH IS THE 
WESTERN SHOSHONE NATION. 

AND THIS IS SUBMITTED BY THE WESTERN SHOSHONE NATIONAL 
COUNSEL, AND ACCOMPANYING IT IS ALSO THE TREATY IN THE AREA. 
THANK YOU. 

MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU, MR. MOSS. 
I HAVE NO MORE CARDS. ARE THERE ANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS 



1 HERE TONIGHT THAT WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A STATEMENT AT OUR HEARING, 

2 SPEAK FROM THE HEART WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM? 

3 YES, SIR. CAN YOU STATE YOUR NAME? 

4 MR. ARNOLD: I'M FRED ARNOLD. I'M PAST PRESIDENT OF 

5 THE NEVADA MINERS & PROSPECTORS ASSOCIATION. 

6 AND I'M SURE THAT OUR ORGANIZATION OPPOSES ALL 

7 WILDERNESS, ALL WILDERNESS. THE IDEA IS THE B.L.M. IS PART OF 

8 THE GOVERNMENT AND YOUR JOBS WERE CREATED BY MINING AND HERE YOU 

9 ARE NOW TRYING TO PUT THIS LAND WHERE THE MINERS CAN'T MINE, 

10 CAN'T GET TO THAT LAND TO TAKE THE VALUABLE MINERALS OUT. I 

11 REALLY WISH YOU WOULD NOT DESTROY THIS NATION. IT'S BEEN GREAT 

12 UP UNTIL NOW, BUT THERE'S -- TOO MANY ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE 

13 TRYING TO DESTROY THIS NATION. THANK YOU. 

14 MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU, MR. ARNOLD. WOULD YOU WANT 

15 TO FILL OUT ONE OF THESE CARDS, SIR. 

16 ARE THERE ANY OTHER SPEAKERS THAT WOULD LIKE TO TALK 

1 7 TON I GHT? 

18 MICHELE, WHAT I'M GOING TO DO IS HAVE THIS PUT ON A 

19 HOLD FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES; AND WE'LL SEE IF ANYONE ELSE COMES IN. 

20 AT THE END OF THE FIFTEEN MINUTES WE'LL DISMISS IF THERE ARE NO 

21 OTHER SPEAKERS. 

22 WE'LL START IT AGAIN AT TEN MINUTES TO 8:00. 

2 3 (WHEREUPON A BREAK WAS TAKEN.) 

24 MR. CHAPPELL: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE'VE HAD A 

25 FIFTEEN-MINUTE RECESS. LET'S OPEN IT UP. 



9 

10 
1 1 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
-17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 



I HAVE A COUPLE OF CARDS HERE I'D LIKE TO CALL ON. OUR 
FOURTH SPEAKER IS RAY IRWIN. 

MR. IRWIN: GOOD EVENING. MY NAME IS RAY IRWIN. I'M A 
GEOLOGIST. I LIVE HERE IN SPARKS, NEVADA. I'D LIKE TO MAKE A 
COUPLE OF BRIEF COMMENTS. 

FIRST OFF, I WELCOME THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THIS 
PUBLIC HEARING. I THINK THAT'S A GOOD STARTING POINT TO BEGIN 
WITH. I THINK BOTH THE MINING INDUSTRY -- THAT IS, GOVERNMENT 
AGENCIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS MUST WORK TOGETHER TO TACKLE 
THE PROBLEM THAT'S BEFORE US. I AGREE WITH THE ORIGINAL CONCEPT 
OF WATER WILDERNESS AREA WAS TO BE. TO ME THAT'S TO PROTECT A 
VERY UNIQUE EITHER SCENIC AREA OR WILDLIFE. WHATEVER. THAT 
SHOULD BE DONE. THERE IS A DANGER, HOWEVER, IN APPLYING THAT 
KIND OF WIDESPREAD IN THAT IT DOES DENY ACCESS TO MULTIPLE LAND 
USE FOR RECREATION, MINING AND THINGS LIKE THAT; AND I THINK 
THERE HAS TO BE KIND OF A COMMON GROUND. ITS ENCOURAGING THAT 
AT LEAST IN YOUR EVALUATION PROCESS THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO SCREEN 
OUT SOME AREAS. 

BY THE SAME TOKEN, I CAUTION YOU ON THE LIME POINT 
WILDERNESS STUDY AREA THAT ALTHOUGH ON THE PROPOSED AREA YOU DID 
BACK OFF THE BOUNDARIES AWAY FROM PREVIOUS MINING AREAS I WOULD 
BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A BUFFER ZONE LATER ON 
BEING APPLIED THAT WOULD ALSO ENTER DEVELOPMENT OF MINING OR 
EXPLORATION OUTSIDE THE WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS. THAT HAS BEEN 
PROPOSED IN SOME AREAS; AND AGAIN, JUST A WORD OF CAUTION THERE. 



1 I THINK THE LIME POINT AREA MIGHT BE LOOKED AT A LITTLE MORE 

2 CAREFULLY. 

3 BUT AGAIN, ITS A HEALTHY START THAT WE ARE ABLE TO 

4 HAVE THIS DIALOGUE; AND I APPRECIATE THAT OPPORTUNITY. THANK 

5 YOU. 

6 MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU, MR. IRWIN. 

7 HAS TEHRY KNIGHT ARRIVED YET? 

8 ARE THERE ANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS HERE TONIGHT WHO WOULD 

9 LIKE TO MAKE A STATEMENT? 

10 SUSAN? 

11 YES, SIR. 

12 MR. HENNAN: I HAVEN'T FILLED OUT A CARD, BUT I WOULD 

13 LIKE TO. 

14 MR. CHAPPELL: FINE. HAVE AT IT. HAVE AT IT. 

15 MR. HENNAN: MY NAME IS DAVID HENNAN. I M A CONSULTING 

16 LANDMAN. I MAKE MY L I V I NG BY Ml N I NG ; SO, I , OF COURSE, AM IN 

17 FAVOR OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO PROPERTIES. 

1B LIKE RAY, I DO AGREE WITH SETTING ASIDE CERTAIN AREAS. 

19 AND I NOTICE LIKE ON THE B.L.M. M.T. CLASS THERE ARE AREAS OF 

20 WITHDRAWAL SUCH AS ICHTHYOSAURUS SITES AND SO FORTH. HOWEVER, 

21 THE ONE THING ON WILDERNESS AREAS OR AREAS OF WITHDRAWAL, I 

22 UNDERSTAND ALSO YOU RE DENIED ACCESS BY MOTOR VEHICLES. AND TWO 

23 THINGS I COULD SEE THAT MIGHT NOT BE GOOD ON THAT: NUMBER ONE, 

2 4 IF YOU HAVE FIRES IN THE AREA, ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS FOR THAT FOR 

25 EMERGENCY VEHICLES TO GET TO IT? AND ANOTHER WOULD BE PEOPLE 



1 OBVIOUSLY CAN BACKPACK IN THERE; AND THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE •- 

2 NOT ALL OF THEM, OF COURSE, BUT SOME THAT DO TAKE IN THEIR OWN 

3 PERSONAL BELONGS AND LEAVE THEM BEHIND SUCH AS TRASH AND THINGS 

4 LIKE THAT. 

5 I'M ALL FOR AREAS BEING SET ASIDE FOR HECREATIONAL 

S PURPOSES WITH CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS AND SO FORTH. I JUST MIGHT 

7 BE A LITTLE BIT CONCERNED ABOUT BEING TOO RESTRICTIVE AS FAR AS 

8 NOT BEING ABLE TO TAKE ANY MOTOR VEHICLES OR ANYTHING ON THERE. 

9 AND MY VIEWS RIGHT NOW ARE I DON'T KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT 

10 IT, I NEED TO DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. BUT I JUST WANTED TO MAKE 

11 THOSE COMMENTS. THANK YOU FOR THE TIME. 

12 MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. 

13 I GAVE A CARD THERE FOR MR. IHWIN. IF YOU'D JUST FILL 

14 ONE OUT. 

15 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: HERE YOU GO. 

16 MR. CHAPPELL: YOU'VE ALREADY DONE IT FOR HIM? THANK 

1 7 YOU , SIR. 

18 ARE THERE ANY OTHER STATEMENTS TONIGHT? 

19 YES, SIR. 

20 MR. HOLLINGSWORTH: I'D LIKE TO MAKE JUST ONE COMMENT, 

2 1 OR TWO COMMENTS . 

22 MY NAME IS ED HOLLINGSWORTH; AND MY OFFICES ARE AT 226 

23 CALIFORNIA AVENUE, RENO, NEVADA. I AM MINING ORIENTED. WHEN I 

24 SAY THAT, THAT ISN'T NECESSARILY INVOLVING MINING. 

25 MY PRIMARY OBJECTIONS TO A WILDERNESS PROGRAM AND, OF 



1 COURSE, TO THESE WILDERNESS AREAS SPECIFICALLY IS THE WAY THAT 

2 THE WILDERNESS AREAS ARE DESIGNATED. THERE'S ABOUT THREE OR 

3 FOUR CRITERIA THAT THE GOVERNMENT USES WHICH IS -- WHICH ARE 

4 TOTALLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE AS FAR AS I CAN SEE. NUMBER ONE IS THE 

5 REQUIREMENT THAT THE AREA MUST CONTAIN AT LEAST FIVE THOUSAND 

6 ACRES OF ROADLESS LAND. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE -- MANY OF THE 

7 LANDS, I'M SURE, UNDER CONSIDERATION NOW BY BOTH B.L.M. AND 

8 FOREST SERVICE CONTAIN MANY, MANY, MANY ROADS. THE AGENCIES 

9 HAVE CIRCUMVENTED THE LAW BY HAULING THESE ROADS AWAY, OR 

10 WHATEVER ELSE YOU WANT TO CALL, OR TRAILS OR WHATEVER, OUT HERE 

11 IN NEVADA WHERE WE LIVE BY THESE ROADS. THEY ARE ROADS, AND I 

12 DON'T THINK THERE CAN BE A WILDERNESS AREA WHERE THERE ARE 

13 ROADS. THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE OBJECTION. 

14 THE SECOND OBJECTION IS THAT THE BALANCE OF THE 

15 CRITERIA INVOLVES OUTSTANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR, NUMBER ONE, 

16 SOLITUDE AND TWO, PRIMITIVE AND UNCONFINED RECREATION. I DEFY 

17 ANYONE TO DESCRIBE TO ME SATISFACTORILY WHAT IS MEANT BY 

18 OUTSTANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOLITUDE." SOLITUDE CAN BE HAD 

19 ANYPLACE THAT PEOPLE CAN CONFINE THEMSELVES; A HOTEL ROOM, THE 

20 BACKYARD, UNDER A HOUSE, ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN, ANYPLACE. 

2 1 SOLITUDE MEANS NOTHING TO ME, AND I DON'T THINK IT CAN BE 

22 DEFINED. 

23 MORE INCOMPREHENSIBLE IS THE CRITERIA OF "PRIMITIVE AND 

24 UNCONFINED RECREATION." I DEFY ANYBODY TO DESCRIBE IN ANY 

25 DETAIL WHATSOEVER WHAT "PRIMITIVE AND UNCONFINED RECREATION" 



1 ACTUALLY MEANS. NUMBER ONE, WE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT UNCONFINED 

2 BECAUSE OUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR WITH WILDERNESS AREAS THAT HAVE 

3 BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE FOREST SERVICE ARE WELL PATROLLED BY 

4 FOREST SERVICE PERSONNEL. YOU ARE NOT UNCONFINED AT ANY TIME IN 

5 ANY WILDERNESS AREA. NUMBER TWO, WHAT IS MEANT BY "PRIMITIVE" 

6 TYPE OF RECREATION? ARE WE SHOOTING BOWS AND ARROWS AT EACH 

7 OTHER? NO, THAT COULDN'T BE RECREATION BECAUSE THE NATIVES DID 

8 THAT AS PART OF THEIR LIFESTYLE. THE RECREATION HUNTING AND 

9 FISHING IS NOT RECREATION FOR THE PRIMITIVES. THEY DID THAT 

10 BECAUSE THEY HAD TO EAT. 

11 SO, THE TERMS THEMSELVES ARE SO AMBIGUOUS AND SO 

12 UNDETERMINABLE THAT IT COULD NOT POSSIBLY EVER BE USED IN 

13 DEFINING THEIR DESIGNATING WHAT MIGHT BE REFERRED TO AS 

14 WILDERNESS. THE WILDERNESS PROGRAM IN ITS INITIAL CONTEXT DOES 

15 HAVE MERIT. WE'D ALL LIKE TO PUT AWAY SOMETHING THAT WE CAN 

16 HOLD ONTO THAT REALLY MEETS THE CRITERIA OF WILDERNESS. THEN 

17 I'D FIGHT LIKE HELL TO KEEP SOME OF YOU OFF AN AREA THAT WAS 

18 WILDERNESS AND WANTED TO DESTROY IT. BUT I ' VE BEEN UNABLE AT 

19 THIS TIME IN THIS STATE TO FIND ANYTHING THAT I'D CONSIDER WORTH 
2 FIGHTING FOR. THANK YOU VERY KINDLY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. 

21 MR. CHAPPELL: THANK YOU. 

22 ANYONE ELSE? 

23 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS. 

24 YOUR HEARTFELT INFORMATION IS GOING TO BE USEFUL TO US. 

25 IN VIEW OF THE FACT THERE ARE NO MORE SPEAKERS, I'M 



01 

] 



1.1 

14 

1 s 

1G 
17 
18 

19 
20 

2 1 
22 
23 
2 4 
25 



GOING TO ADJOUHN THIS MEETING TONIGHT. 
WE THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT. 
(WHEREUPON THE PROCEEDINGS WERE CONCLUDED AT 7:58 P.M.) 





18 


1 


- 


2 


CERTIFICATE 


3 




4 


STATE OF NEVADA ) 


5 


) SS. 


6 


WASHOE COUNTY ) 


7 




a 


I. MICHELE WHITE, CSR 282, DO HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I 


9 


REPORTED THE FOHEGOING EXCERPT OF PROCEEDINGS; THAT THE SAME IS 


10 


TRUE AND CORRECT AS REFLECTED BY MY ORIGINAL SHORTHAND NOTES 


11 


TAKEN AT SAID TIME AND PLACE BEFORE THE BUREAU OF LAND 


12 


MANAGEMENT. 


13 




14 


DATED AT SPARKS, NV . , THIS 


15 
16 


| >/i DAY OF ( ls> — <i U,L.L' , 198B 


17 

18 


I iUcL-l< UJLJ:^. 


19 


MICHELE WHITE, CSR 282 


20 




21 




22 


STATE -WIDE REPORTING SERVICE 


23 


1601 BONITA VISTA DR. 


24 


SPARKS, NEVADA 89431 


25 


(702) 356-5888 



Table 5-3 
LIST OF PREPARERS 



Name 



Responsibility 



Education 



Experience 



Brian C. Amme 
Mark Barber 
Brent Bestrum 
Robert Brown 
Janaye Byergo 
Lynn Clemmons 
Diane Colcord 
Dawna Ferris 

Fred Fisher 
Edward Guerrero 
Linda Hansen 
D. Brad Hardenbrook 
John Jamrog 
Kathy Lindsey 
Mark R. Maley 
Keith Myhrer 
Shaaron Netherton 
Jerry O'Donnell 
Paula Peterson 
William D. Robison 
Sid Slone 
Rita Suminski 
David Wolf 



Writer/Cultural Resources 

T and E Animals/Watershed 

Geology/Minerals 

Wild Horses 

Team Leader 

Writer/Wilderness 

Cartography 

Writer/Editor 

Livestock Grazing 

Wildlife 

Writer/Technical Coordinator 

Wildlife 

Livestock Grazing 

T and E Plants 

Wildlife 

Cultural Resources 

Writer/Wilderness 

Word Processor 

Hardrock Minerals 

Energy Resources 

Wildlife 

Wildlife 

NSO Technical Coordinator 



B.A. Anthropology 12 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife Mgt. 1 7 years BLM 

B.S. Geology 15 years BLM 

B.S. Zoology 12 years BLM 

B.S. Recreation Administration 7 years BLM 

B.S. Outdoor Recreation 12 years BLM 

B.A. Art Educ. 21 years BLM 

B.A. Romance Languages, 2 year BLM 
M.A. French 

B.S. Range Mgt. 14 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife Science 8 years BLM 

A.A. Social Science 9 years BLM 

B.S. Forestry, M.S. Wildlife Mgt. 3 years BLM 

B.S. Forestry 12 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife Mgt. 9 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife Ecology 12 years BLM 

M.A. Anthropology 3 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife Mgt. 1 1 years BLM 

A.A. 5 years BLM 

B.S. Geology, M.S. Geology 8 years BLM 

A.A. Engineering, B.S. Geology 7 years BLM 

B.S. Natural Resources 12 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife, M.S. Wildlife 8 years BLM 

B.S. Wildlife, B.S. Recreation 13 years BLM 



5-102 



DESERT TORTOISE HABITAT MANAGEMENT ON THE PUBLIC LANDS: A RANGEWIDE PLAN 



Prepared by 

Edward F. Spang, Nevada State Director 

G. William Lamb, Arizona Strip District Manager 

Frank Rowley, Dixie Resource Area Manager (Utah) 

William H. Radtkey, Washington office 

Richard R. Olendorff, California State Office 

Eugene A. Dahlem, Arizona state Office 

Sidney Slone, Las Vegas District Office 



For more information or copies contact: 

U.S. Department of the interior 
Bureau of Land Management 
Division of Wildlife and Fisheries 

(903 Premier Building) 
18th and C Streets, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20240 
Phone: (202) 653-9202 



November 1988 



A- 1 



DIRECTOR'S PREFACE 

Because the desert tortoise occurs largely on lands administered by the 
U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Bureau managers and staff specialists have 
a unique opportunity to manage habitat so as to ensure that viable popula- 
tions of this species exist in perpetuity. Building on past and ongoing 
accomplishments that benefit desert tortoises and their habitats, we 
intend to focus on this opportunity in a new and important Bureau initia- 
tive outlined in the following Desert Tortoise Rangewide Plan. 

A year ago, through endorsement of the 1987 Desert Tortoise Habitat Team 
report, I issued a directive to BLM staff in Arizona, California, Nevada, 
and Utah to develop strategies to begin implementation of the recommenda- 
tions in that report. The result of their effort is this Rangewide Plan 
which provides Goals, Objectives, and Management Actions to be used by 
Bureau managers to improve the status of the desert tortoise. The Plan 
also formalizes several coordination mechanisms to ensure effective plan- 
ning and decisionmaking whenever and wherever the desert tortoise is 
involved . 

In the BIM we are obligated to operate within the provisions of the 
Federal Land Policy and Management Act which mandates a multiple-use/ 
sustained yield approach to managing and using renewable and nonrenewable 
public land resources. In this process there is ample opportunity to 
implement the Management Actions presented in the Rangewide Plan which 
collectively provide a measure of our resolve to improve the status of the 
desert tortoise and its habitat. Here are a few examples: 

— Complete and maintain an inventory of tortoise populations and habitats; 

— Develop a system to track desert tortoise habitat quantity and quality 
through time to allow analysis of cumulative impacts; 

— Participate fully on a management oversight group and all technical com- 
mittees and coordination groups actively considering tortoise issues; 

— Implement research and studies to resolve tortoise management issues; 

— Manage tortoise habitats using an ecosystem management approach with 
emphasis on maintaining or restoring natural biological diversity; and 

— Where practicable, allow no net loss in quantity or quality of important 
desert tortoise habitats. 

In translating these action statements into on-the-ground accomplishments, 
we in the Bureau solicit the help of all individuals, groups, and agen- 
cies. For the new initiative to work effectively, cooperative thought, 
work, and funding will be vital. Simply put, the initiative is the Bureau's 
but the responsibility is shared by all who wish to conserve the tortoise 
and all who wish to develop land and use resources within the range of the 
desert tortoise! 




y^_ 2 November 14, 198 8 

Date 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

DIRECTOR'S PREFACE i 

TABLE OF CONTENTS il 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY iii 

INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE 1 

BACKGROUND 3 

Authority 3 

BLM Procedures and Policies Relating to Wildlife Habitat 4 

A . Inventory 4 

B . Planning 4 

C. Environmental Assessment 5 

D . Monitoring 5 

Interagency Coordination and Cooperation 6 

A. Tortoise Management Committee Structure 6 

B. Implementation of the Sikes Act 6 

Research, Development, and Studies 7 

A. Research and Development 7 

B . Studies 7 

Current Tortoise Population and Habitat Status 7 

A. Sonoran Desert Populations 9 

B. Western Mojave Desert Populations. . . ., 9 

C. Eastern Mojave Desert Populations 10 

CATEGORIZATION OF TORTOISE HABITAT AREAS 11 

TORTOISE MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS 13 

Objective 1 . Increased Awareness 14 

Objective 2. Inventory and Monitoring 15 

Objective 3 . Cumulative Impacts 16 

Objective 4 . Endangered Populations 17 

Objective 5. Coordination and Cooperation 17 

Objective 6 . Research and Studies 18 

Objective 7- Management of Tortoise Habitat 19 

Objective 8 . Lands and Realty Actions 20 

Objective 9 . Off-highway Vehicles 21 

Objective 10. Livestock Use 21 

Objective 11 . Wild Horses and Burros 22 

Objective 12 . Wildlife Habitat Management 22 

Objective 13 . Predator Control 23 

Objective 14 . Energy and Minerals 23 



A- 3 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

The purpose of this Rangewide Plan is to implement the recommendations 
contained in the BLM report entitled "Management of Desert Tortoise Habi- 
tat." The BLM Director approved that Habitat Team report and its overall 
tortoise management Goal on October 15, 1987. This Goal is: "...to man- 
age habitat so as to ensure that viable desert tortoise populations exist 
on public lands. This will be accomplished through cooperative resource 
management aimed at protecting the species and its habitat." 

Most tortoise habitat exists on the public lands. It is the Bureau's 
responsibility to manage this resource pursuant to the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act, the Bureau's multiple-use/sustained-yield mandate. 
Established policies and procedures for wildlife inventory, planning, 
environmental assessment, monitoring, interagency coordination and coop- 
eration, and research and studies allow appropriate consideration of 
desert tortoises and their habitats in the Bureau's land-use planning and 
decision-making processes. This Rangewide Plan also provides Objectives 
and Management Actions derived from these policies and procedures to be 
used by the Bureau to improve the status of the tortoise and its habitat. 

Recent studies on the genetics and morphometries of desert tortoises 
describe three main populations in the United States: Sonoran Desert, 
Western Mojave Desert, and Eastern Mojave Desert populations (Map 1). 
Each of these populations have different shell shapes, occur in different 
habitat types, have differing behavioral patterns, and are affected by 
particular surface disturbing activities to varying degrees. Management 
for viable populations of each of these genetic/morphometric types Is 
necessary. 

One management strategy for providing future protection and management of 
desert tortoise habitat will be to categorize tortoise Habitat Areas 
according to four criteria: (1) importance of the habitat to maintaining 
viable populations, (2) resolvability of conflicts, (3) tortoise density, 
and (4) population status (stable, increasing, decreasing). Differing 
levels of management, consistent with Category Goals, will be applied to 
Habitat Areas in each Category (Table 1). The Bureau is committed to 
maintaining viable tortoise populations in Category I and II habitats 
through implementation of specific Management Actions. The placing of an 
area of habitat in Category III means that these areas are of lower value 
in sustaining viable populations of tortoises on the public lands, and 
thus can be subjected to lower management intensity specifically for 
tortoises than habitats in the other Categories. 

Management Actions are grouped under fourteen Management Objectives. 
These Management Objectives and accompanying Management Actions represent 
"where the Bureau intends to go" during the coming decade to meet the 
Bureau's overall Goal for preserving and managing tortoises and their 
habitats. 

Objective 1 . Develop increased awareness of tortoise resources on the 
public lands . 

Objective 2 . Complete and maintain on a continuing basis an inventory and 
monitoring program for tortoise populations and habitats to 
assist in making management decisions on the public lands. 

A- 4 



Objective 3 . 



Develop and maintain a monitoring program specifically for 
land-use activities that adversely affect tortoise habi- 
tats. This program will be used In the analysis of and 
response to the cumulative impacts of land-use decisions on 
tortoise habitats. 



Objective 4 . 



Objective 5 . 



Objective 6 , 



Comply fully with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended, as it relates to tortoise population and habitat 
management on the public lands. 

Develop and maintain effective coordination and cooperation 
with outside agencies and Bureau constituents concerning 
tortoise population and habitat management. 

Conduct research and studies sufficient to develop and docu 
ment the knowledge and techniques needed to ensure the via- 
bility of tortoise populations and habitats in perpetuity. 



Objective 7 . 



Manage the public lands, on a continuing basis, to protect 
the scientific, ecological, and environmental quality of 
tortoise habitats consistent with the Category Goals and 
other Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. This implies 
management for the existence of an adequate number of 
healthy and vigorous tortoise populations of sufficient size 
and resilience to withstand the most severe environmental 
impacts, and with appropriate sex and age ratios and 
recruitment rates to maintain viable populations in per- 
petuity. 



Objective 8 . 



When the need Is identified through the Bureau planning 
system, acquire and/or consolidate, under Bureau 
administration, management units with high tortoise habitat 
values, and mitigate the effects of issuing rights-of-way 
across public lands. 



Objective 9 . Ensure that of f- highway vehicle use in desert tortoise 
habitats Is consistent with the Category Goals, Objectives, 
and Management Actions of this Rangewide Plan. 



Objective 10 , 



Ensure that livestock use is consistent with the Category 
Goals, Objectives, and Management Actions of this Rangewide 
Plan. This may include limiting, precluding, or deferring 
livestock use as documented in site-specific plans. 



Objective 11 . 



Provide for herd management for wild horses and burros which 
is consistent with the Category Goals, Objectives, and Man- 
agement Actions of thiB Rangewide Plan. This may include 
limiting or precluding wild horse and/or burro use, as 
appropriate. 



Objective 12 . Provide for management of wildlife other than desert tor- 
toises on the public lands consistent with the Category 
Goals, Objectives, and Management Actions of this Rangewide 
Plan. 



A- 5 



Objective 13 . Cooperate with state wildlife agencies and APHIS to effect 
appropriate types and levels of predator control to meet the 
Category Goals and Objectives of this Rangewlde Plan. This 
will be considered only where predation Is Interfering with 
maintaining viable tortoise populations. 

Objective 14 . Manage the Bureau's energy and minerals program in a manner 
consistent with the Category Goals and Objectives of this 
Rangewlde Plan. 



A- 6 



INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE 

The desert tortoise ( Xerobates agassizii) is one of the most politically 
sensitive animals with which Federal agencies must be concerned, because 
tortoises are particularly susceptible to surface-disturbing activities. 
Normal tortoise populations are characterized by a long period to repro- 
ductive maturity, low reproductive output, and low survival of young. 
These characteristics, which portend an inability to adapt to rapid 
environmental changes, have led to widespread Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM) and public recognition of the need to manage tortoise populations 
and habitats effectively. 

Bureau authorities exist through which protection and conservation of 
tortoises and their habitats can be implemented, particularly if cooper- 
ation and assistance Is provided by state, county, and other Federal 
agencies, as well as private landowners, where mixed ownership is a major 
problem. Many of these authorities have been applied by the Bureau to 
address tortoise habitat management issues with varying degrees of inten- 
sity and success. Other authorities and many important management oppor- 
tunities remain to be implemented, 

The popular appeal of tortoises and their susceptibility to urban 
encroachment, agricultural development, off-highway vehicle use, livestock 
grazing, and mining continue to place extreme demands on some wild popu- 
lations. The results have been that many tortoise populations have 
declined; local extirpations have occurred; and other populations are no 
longer viable. Declining habitat quantity and quality are major causes of 
these conditions, and aggressive conservation and management programs are 
needed to counter the negative forces acting against tortoises and their 
habitats. 

Recognizing these declines, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) offi- 
cially listed tortoises on the Beaver Dam slope of Utah as threatened and 
classified the desert tortoise elsewhere as a candidate for Federal list- 
ing. Bureau policy requires that habitats of Federal candidate species be 
managed and/or conserved to ensure that BLM actions do not contribute to 
the need to list the species. In 1985 the FWS determined that the desert 
tortoise warranted final Federal listing as a species, but the listing 
proposal was set aside because of other higher priorities in the FWS. 

The purpose of this Rangewide Plan is to implement the recommendations 
contained in the BLM report entitled "Management of Desert Tortoise Habi- 
tat." That 1987 report was prepared by a Tortoise Habitat Team consisting 
of representatives of several BLM State, District, and Area Offices and 
the Nevada Department of Wildlife. The BLM Director approved the Habitat 
Team report and Its overall tortoise management Goal on October 15, 1987. 
This Goal is: "...to manage habitat so as to ensure that viable desert 
tortoise populations exist on public lands. This will be accomplished 
through cooperative resource management aimed at protecting the species 
and its habitat." 



Further, this Rangewlde Plan was prepared to provide Objectives and Man- 
agement Actions to be used by the Bureau to improve the status of the 
tortoise on the public lands, including efficient planning and research, 
cost effective on-the-ground Implementation of plans and research recom- 
mendations, and appropriate awareness of the species in the land-use 
planning and decision-making processes relating to other public land 
resources. It is also the intent of the BLM to coordinate and cooperate 
with interested publics and constituents, state wildlife agencies, and 
other Federal agencies in implementing on-the-ground tortoise habitat 
Management Actions. 

There are also a few things this Rangewlde Plan Is not intended to do. It 
does not address site-specific, population-specific, or individual on-the- 
ground management actions. These are being or will be developed in indi- 
vidual site-specific activity plans, such as Habitat Management Plans for 
wildlife, Allotment Management Plans for livestock, Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern Management Plans for special areas, etc. Develop- 
ment of proposals for budget and work effort required to implement this 
Rangewlde Plan are on-going through the normal annual work planning pro- 
cess and will be developed further following completion of state-level 
desert tortoise habitat management implementation strategies/plans. 
National Environmental Policy Act compliance will occur when individual 
actions are proposed. 



A- 8 



BACKGROUND 

Inherent in the Bureau's authorities is a mandate to which the Bureau 
strives in its wildlife programs. The Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act of 1976 (FLPMA) formalizes the principles of multiple use and sustained 
yield as a Bureau mission. Wildlife is identified as one of the princi- 
pal or major uses of the public lands. The management and preservation of 
wildlife as a principal multiple use results in a goal of maintenance of 
habitat diversity. In fact, the habitat diversity present on the public 
lands administered by the BLM exceeds that of any other landowner in the 
Nation — governmental or private. High diversity and low human disturbance 
within habitats generally yields healthy wildlife populations. Such popu- 
lations offer more management options for maintenance or improvement of 
their well-being than do threatened or endangered species for which strin- 
gent management strategies necessary for recovery diminish available 
options. Thus, the identification and maintenance of management options 
for conservation of nonlisted species is of benefit not only to the Bur- 
eau, but also to wildlife in general, desert tortoises included. 

Authority . 

The past decade has seen great changes in the attitudes of the American 
public towards the lands the BLM administers under its multiple-use and 
sustained-yield mandate, FLPMA. These changes have resulted in improved 
management of the natural resources on the public lands, including the 
wildlife resources. The vast expanses of prairie, deserts, mountains, and 
forests, as well as special habitats (floodplains, islands, cliffs, and 
rock outcrops) provide shelter and food for both huntable and nongame 
wildlife, furnish reproductive sites and nourishment for hundreds of 
species of wildlife, and fascinate those people who enjoy open space and 
natural settings. 

Indeed, most tortoise habitat exists on the public lands, and therein lies 
the essence of the Bureau's responsibility to this resource as set forth 
in FLPMA: 

The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States 
that. . .management be on the basis of multiple use and sustained 
yield unless otherwise specified by law; the public lands be man- 
aged in a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, 
scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmosphere, 
water resource, and archaeological values; that, where appropri- 
ate, will preserve and protect certain public lands in their 
natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish 
and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will provide for 
outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use.... 

The Secretary shall prepare and maintain on a continuing basis an 
inventory of all public lands and their resource and other 
values .... 

In the development and revision of land use plans, the Secretary 
shall -- 

give priority to the designation and protection of areas of 
critical environmental concern; 

A- 9 



consider the relative scarcity of the values Involved...; and 

coordinate the land use inventory, planning, and management 
activities of or for such lands with the land use planning 
and management programs of other Federal departments and 
agencies and of States and local governments within which 
the lands are located.... 

The principal wildlife management responsibility of the BLM is for habitat. 
State wildlife agencies and the FWS have responsibility for species manage- 
ment, though the two responsibilities cannot — and need not! -be separated 
completely, particularly in light of the Bureau's responsibility for 
recovery of species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and recent 
U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the authority of the Federal 
Government over wildlife on Federal lands. 

BLM Procedures and Policies Relating to Wildlife Habitat . 

The following is a discussion of how the Bureau manages wildlife in gen- 
eral, tortoise habitat included. The Bureau has not made full use of 
these processes to manage and protect tortoises and their habitats in the 
past, but the current high intensity deBert tortoise initiative is a 
positive prospect for the future. 

A. Inventory . It is Bureau policy that wildlife inventories be 
conducted to provide information needed for the management of BLM- 
administered lands. Inventories are done in response to Bureau planning 
efforts or as part of the environmental work (NEPA compliance) associated 
with specific projects. Through these means, and through monitoring and 
research, the Bureau has amassed large quantities of information on 
wildlife populations and habitats-- and it will continue to do so. 

B. Planning . The optimal long-term process for BLM consideration of 
tortoise populations and habitats is the Bureau Planning System. Bureau 
plans are prepared in direct compliance with FLPMA and are based in part 
on the continuing inventory mandated by that law. Land-use plans are 
developed to clearly identify means of protecting wildlife habitat and 
other resources. Appropriate considerations are made during development 
and analysis of alternatives. These analyses lead to formal Resource 
Management Plan recommendations. Older Management Framework Plans are 
currently being replaced by new generation Resource Management Plans. 

Bureau planning policy includes application of the principle of multiple 
use/sustained yield; use of a systematic interdisciplinary approach to 
achieve integrated consideration of physical, biological, economic, 
social, and environmental aspects of public land management; giving 
priority to identification, designation, protection, and management of 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs); considering the relative 
scarcity of the values involved; weighing the long-term benefits and 
detriments against short-term benefits and detriments; and extensive 
coordination with other Federal departments and agencies, state and local 
governments, academia and special interest groups, and Indian tribes. 



A- 10 



Site-specific activity plans, such as Habitat Management Plans for wild 
life, Allotment Management Plans for grazing practices, and Recreation 
Management Plans for recreation programs, are prepared to implement 
Resource Management Plans (land-use plans) in particular areas. It is 
important to note that in many cases wildlife needs can be considered and 
met aB components of nonwlldlife activity plans. Examples would include 
livestock management practices which can reduce competition for forage or 
decrease the occurrence of trampling of tortoises in certain areas; off- 
highway vehicle restrictions which might decrease the access to important 
tortoise habitats; and the design and siting of campgrounds away from 
vulnerable tortoise populations. 

This Rangewide Plan will become part of the routine procedures for the 
multiple-use management of public lands by the BLM. As such it will be 
part of the guidance used to develop alternatives addressed in land-use 
plans and will be carried through the planning process and become a part 
of the selected alternatives. 

C. Environmental Assessment . The Bureau Planning System requires 
continual updating to remain current and to gain greater specificity. 
Updating is accomplished at least in part through implementation of the 
Bureau policy to ensure that Bureau planning and National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) compliance efforts are integrated. These processes 
provide a clear and logical progression from planning through accomplish- 
ment, thereby avoiding duplication of effort to the extent possible. It 
is through the development of NEPA documents and implementation of decis- 
ions resulting from them that the project-by-project efforts to manage and 
protect wildlife and wildlife habitats on the public lands are 
accomplished. 

In the absence of complete planning system data and documents, the Bureau 
often has an immediate need for better information with which to make 
project-specific recommendations. Additional inventory is often needed to 
develop wildlife habitat stipulations included in environmental compliance 
documents (environmental assessments, impact statements, impact reports, 
etc.) required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), similar 
state laws, and the associated regulations (e.g., 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508). 
Gathering data for environmental documents does not, however, yield all 
necessary information, such as trend data. 

D. Monitoring . It is Bureau policy to implement monitoring activities 
that reflect a long-term commitment to the management of renewable resour- 
ces and that will assist in the evaluation of the cumulative impacts of 
implementing land-use plans and records of decision. BLM monitoring for 
the benefit of wildlife occurs in five forms: (1) monitoring to determine 
population trends; (2) monitoring to determine habitat trends; (3) moni- 
toring of actions called for in Habitat Management Plans and other activ- 
ity plans; (4) monitoring compliance with stipulations contained in Bureau 
decision documents; and (5) monitoring to determine if mitigation measures 
are effective. 



^- 11 



Interagency Coordination and Cooperation . 

Coordination and cooperation are very important attributes of the Bureau's 
program to manage and conserve wildlife and wildlife habitats. Such coor- 
dination and cooperation will be accomplished primarily through compliance 
with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (see above); the Endan- 
gered Species Act of 1973, as amended; the Sikes Act; national level 
interagency cooperative agreements; BLM/state intergovernmental memoranda 
of understanding; Coordinated Resource Management Planning; various other 
Federal environmental and wildlife laws; where enacted, similar State 
legislation; etc. Several specifically focused management and technical 
committees will also be vital to coordination of and cooperation on 
tortoise issues. 

A. Tortoise Management Committee Structure . As recommended in the 
1987 Habitat Team report, a structure for desert tortoise committees has 
been established. The Desert Tortoise Management Oversight Group was 
established to include management level representatives from U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service Regions 1, 2, and 6; BLM offices from each of the four 
involved states; the four involved state wildlife agencies; and the BLM 
Washington Office. This Group is charged with providing a strong leader- 
ship role for implementation of this plan, as well as ensuring that data 
analysis procedures are standardized, considering funding and research 
priorities, ensuring that various reportB are prepared, and reviewing 
existing and new laws and plans relating to tortoises. 

A second group of autonomous state-level Desert Tortoise Technical Commit- 
tees exists (or will be established) including representatives from agen- 
cies, organizations, and groups with special knowledge of tortoises and 
their habitats. One of the purposes of these Technical Committees should 
be to advise and put issues before BLM managers and/or the Management 
Oversight Group for their consideration. These Committees may also be 
asked to develop strategy documents for the consideration of BLM State 
Directors in each of the four states. Such documents should be designed 
to ensure that the overall Bureau desert tortoise management Goal is 
reached through the implementation of the Objectives of this Rangewide 
Plan. 

Finally, as necessary, special work groups, coordination committees, advi- 
sory groups, or task forces will be established to deal with specific tor- 
toise issues. These groups may be established by involved agencies, the 
Management Oversight Group, or the Technical Committees, as appropriate. 

B. Implementation of the Sikes Act . Most of the Bureau's Habitat 
Management Plans are developed under the umbrella of the Sikes Act, Title 
2 — Conservation Programs on Certain Public Land. Strong BLM/state wild- 
life agency cooperation is mandatory for all Sikes Act Habitat Management 
Plans : 

The Secretary of the Interior. . .shall, in cooperation with the 
State agencies..., plan, develop, maintain, and coordinate 
programs for the conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife, 
fish, and game. . . . 



A- 12 



Each State may enter into a cooperative agreement with... the 
Secretary of the Interior with respect to those conservation and 
rehabilitation programs to be implemented under this title within 
the State on public land which is under his jurisdiction.... 

Each cooperative agreement entered into under this subsection 
shall. . .provide for fish and wildlife habitat improvements or 
modifications, or both; provide for range rehabilitation where 
necessary for support of wildlife; provide adequate protection 
for fish and wildlife officially classified as threatened or 
endangered pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973... or considered to be threatened, rare or endangered by 
the state agency; (and) require the control of off-highway 
vehicle traffic. . . . 

These statements from the Sikes Act have been incorporated as Bureau pol- 
icy. All Habitat Management Plans are to be prepared under the Sikes Act 
authority unless the state wildlife agency chooses not to participate. 

Research. Development, and Studies . 

The Bureau has been a leader in tortoise population and habitat management 
research, study, and information transfer for over a decade. The BLM has 
conducted dozens of tortoise research projects, studies, and inventories 
spanning everything from the intensive research necessary to establish 
basic life history parameters for the species to very specialized studies 
of desert tortoise foraging habits and movement patterns. Much more needs 
to be done, however. 

A. Research and Development . BLM research and development policy 
states that such projects shall be user-oriented (applied) and necessary 
to provide program (manage- ment) direction. Research needs of the Bureau 
are identified in Statements of Need prepared by field office Btaffs, pri- 
marily Resource Area and District Offices and the Denver Service Center. 
These statements are reviewed at higher levels, and authorizations to 
develop Project Prospectuses (proposals) are given, as appropriate. 
Approved research and development projects are conducted and evaluated, 
data are analyzed, and reports are written and distributed. 

B. Studies . While not generally considered R&D by the Bureau, studies 
account for much of the Bureau's initial information gathering effort for 
the benefit of tortoises and their habitats. Studies are distinguished 
from research projects as being short- termed, small in scope, site speci- 
fic, and directly applicable to immediate management needs. 

Current Tortoise Population and Habitat Status 

Recent studies on the genetics and morphometries of desert tortoises 
provide important information for management of the species. Data from 
mtDNA research indicate that at least two major genetic assemblages exist 
in the United States, separated by the Grand Canyon- Colorado River system 
(Map 1). These two groups, separated for 3 to 5 million years, are sub- 
stantially different from each other. Additional, minor genetic differ- 
ences can be found in populations occurring north and west of the Grand 
Canyon-Colorado River. New data on shell shapes closely parallel 

A- 13 




1 



MAP 1. The three Desert Tortoise genetlc/morphometric assemblages discus- 
sed in this Rangewide Plan. 



A- 14 



findings of the genetic studies. Three distinct shell shapes have been 
identified: a California type, a Beaver Dam Slope type, and a Sonoran 
Desert type. The following descriptions of tortoise populations and 
habitats incorporate the new information. 

A. Sonoran Desert Populations . Sonoran Desert tortoises are very dif- 
ferent genetically and morphologically from those to the north and west of 
the Colorado River. The Sonoran tortoise is generally larger, flatter, 
and more pear-shaped than its relatives. Populations are very limited in 
size, distribution, and in selection of habitats. They are found on some 
steep, rocky slopes of mountain ranges, primarily in Arizona Uplands veg- 
etation dominated by palo verde and saguaro cactus. Populations are 
island-like and are separated from each other by valleys. The Black and 
Cerbat mountains of northwest Arizona are more like mountains in the 
Mojave Desert (creosote/bursage) , with tortoises in less steep areas. 

Because of the limited nature of the populations and habitat, Sonoran Des- 
ert tortoises are particularly vulnerable to human activities. Popula- 
tions and habitat have been lost to expansion of urban areas and to 
encroachment of uses such as recreation, roads, and energy related rights- 
of-way. Grazing, mining, and fire also adversely affect some areas. 

B. Western Mo .lave Desert Populations . The West Mojave Desert as 
defined here includes parts of the West Mojave, East Mojave, and Colorado 
Deserts in California and extreme southern Nevada (Map 1). Western Mojave 
Desert populations have high domed shells, are box-like in shape, and have 
plastrons of normal length. 

The vast majority of all extant tortoise populations are in this unit. 
Within the typical geographic boundaries of the West Mojave, tortoises 
occur in creosote bush, alkali sink, and tree yucca habitats in valleys, 
on fans, and in low rolling hills at elevations ranging from 2,000 to 
3,700 feet. In the Fenner and Piute valleys of eastern California and 
southern Nevada, creosote bush and tree yucca habitats at elevations of 
2,200 to 3,500 feet are also preferred. 

Tortoises living in the Colorado Desert utilize habitats of (a) creosote 
bush scrub with ocotillo and cactus, (b) creosote bush scrub and tree 
yuccas, and (c) microphyll woodland washes or wash stringers at elevations 
ranging from about 500 to 2,700 feet. 

Status and habitat condition vary substantially from one area to another. 
Populations and habitat in the west Mojave area are characterized by 
severe and rapid rates of decline. Study plot data from eight sites indi- 
cate that populations have declined at rates of 10 percent or more per 
year for the last six to eight years. Vandalism, collections, raven pre- 
dation, and disease are a few of the many causes for population declines. 
Habitat is deteriorating and being lost from urban, energy, and mineral 
development, vehicle-oriented recreation, grazing, and other uses. 

The population in Fenner Valley was relatively stable a few years ago but 
is now under pressure from raven predation and continuing livestock graz- 
ing, recreational use, and yucca harvest on private lands. In Piute Val- 
ley in Nevada, the population is in a severe state of decline. Issues 
there Include cattle grazing, urban encroachment, recreational use, and 
mineral development. 

A- 15 



In the Colorado Desert, tortoise populations were believed to be the most 
stable and of the highest densities in the geographic range until 1987. 
Since that time, study plot data from the Ward and Chemehuevi valleys 
indicate declines in recruitment of juveniles caused by raven predation. 
The Chuckwalla Valley populations are experiencing increased pressures 
from vandalism, and in the Chuckwalla Bench Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern prime populations have declined 60 percent since 1982, probably 
due to disease. 

Problems with habitat deterioration in the Colorado Desert vary consid- 
erably from the Ward and Chemehuevi valleys to the Chuckwalla Valley and 
Bench. Losses are relatively minor in the Ward and Chemehuevi valleys 
compared with the West Mojave area, but pressure is increasing for devel- 
opment of more power line corridors, agricultural development, and urban 
development. Habitat is under greater threat of encroachment in the 
Chuckwalla area from agricultural and associated urban development, min- 
ing, and increased recreational use. The Chuckwalla area is particularly 
vulnerable because it is relatively small and the tortoise habitat within 
it is fragmented. 

C. Eastern Mojave Desert Populations . For management purposes, the 
East Mojave tortoise populations are best treated by genetic rather than 
by the typical geographical subdivisions. The western-most boundary of 
the East Mojave genetic unit occurs in the vicinity of the East Mojave 
Scenic Area in eastern California (Shadow Valley, Ivanpah Valley, and 
Kelso regions). From the California border, East Mojave populations 
extend northeast and north into Nevada to the Las Vegas Valley and Coyote 
Spring Valley, and eastward to the Beaver Dam Slope and Paradise Valley of 
southwestern Utah and extreme northwestern Arizona. 

Shell shapes of tortoises in this unit vary from a high-domed, box- like 
form in the Ivanpah Valley to a substantially flatter form on the Beaver 
Dam Slope. Beaver Dam Slope tortoises also have a very short plastron 
compared with other tortoises in the geographic range and are a very 
distinct type. 

East Mojave tortoise populations typically occur in creosote bush-burro 
bush or creosote bush- tree yucca vegetation types. The forage base con- 
sists of native winter and summer annuals, perennial grasses, cacti, a few 
half-shrubs, and some exotic introduced species. 

In general, East Mojave tortoise populations and habitats are experiencing 
downward trends from urban development, long-term livestock grazing, min- 
ing, large-scale water development, off-highway vehicle use, collecting, 
and many other human- related uses. Populations have been fragmented and 
are in the process of becoming increasingly isolated by urban development, 
highway construction, and development within power line corridors. 



)-■ 16 



CATEGORIZATION OF TORTOISE HABITAT AREAS 

Desert Tortoise Habitat Areas will be delineated by BLM District Managers 
(with appropriate public review) to meet the three Category Goals des- 
cribed in Table 1. Such categorization of habitats will assist the BLM in 
attaining the overall tortoise habitat management Goal established by the 
Director (see Introduction). That Goal is translated into more specific 
Goals for each of the three habitat Categories . These Category Goals 
will, in turn, be reached by implementing the Objectives and related Man- 
agement Actions in the next section of this Rangewide Plan. 

The purpose of the categorization of habitats is to provide for future 
protection and management of these areas and their associated desert 
tortoise populations. Differing levels of management, consistent with 
Category Goals, will be applied to Habitat Areas in each Category. The 
Bureau is committed to maintaining viable tortoise populations in Category 
I and II habitats through implementation of the Management Actions in the 
next section. The placing of an area of habitat in Category III means 
that these areas are of lower value in sustaining viable populations of 
tortoises on the public lands, and thus can be subjected to lower manage- 
ment intensity specifically for tortoises than habitats in the other 
Categories . 

The criteria in Table 1 provide guidelines for categorization by decision 
makers. They are not intended to be used as a cookbook formula. For 
example, some modification of the conflict resolvability criterion may be 
required in checkerboard or braided land ownership patterns. All con- 
flicts may not be resolvable, but the significance of the other three 
criteria may clearly place the Habitat Area into Category I. 

The criteria used to categorize tortoise habitats include the following: 
(1) importance of the habitat to maintaining viable populations, (2) 
resolvability of conflicts, (3) tortoise density, and (4) population 
status (stable, increasing, decreasing). Information concerning all of 
these criteria may not be available or relevant for all categorizations. 

Note that tortoise density and population trendB will often be more useful 
in evaluating management progress within Categories than for actual 
categorization of Habitat Areas. Usually, the overriding criteria for 
categorization will be viable population considerations and conflict 
resolvability. The concept of resolvability includes mitigation; thus, 
conflicts will be judged resolvable whenever the actions required to 
resolve the conflicts are within the Bureau's discretion. 

Where schedules permit, areas will be categorized through resource manage- 
ment planning. Where schedules do not permit, categorizations will be 
completed using existing data and will be reconsidered whenever a Resource 
Management Plan is prepared or revised. The results will be documented as 
a part of the approved plan. 



A- 17 



Table 1. Goals and criteria for three Categories of desert tortoise Habitat Areas. The 
criteria are ranked by importance to the categorization process, with Criterion 1 being the 
most important. 



Items 



Category I 
Habitat Areas 



Category II 
Habitat Areas 



Category III 
Habitat Areas 



Category 
Goals 



> 

I 

00 



Criterion 1 



Maintain stable, viable 
populations and protect 
existing tortoise habitat 
values; increase popula- 
tions, where possible. 

Habitat Area essential 
to maintenance of large, 
viable populations. 



Maintain stable, viable 
populations and halt 
further declines in 
tortoise habitat values. 



Habitat Area may be 
essential to maintenance 
of viable populations. 



Limit tortoise habitat 
and population declines 
to the extent possible 
by mitigating impacts. 



Habitat Area not essen- 
tial to maintenance 
of viable populations. 



Criterion 2 Conflicts resolvable. 



Most conflicts 
resolvable. 



Most conflicts not 
resolvable. 



Criterion 3 



Medium to high density 
or low density contig- 
uous with medium or 
high density. 



Medium to high density 
or low density contig- 
uous with medium or 
high density. 



Low to medium density 
not contiguous with 
medium or high density. 



Criterion 4 



Increasing, stable, or 
decreasing population. 



Stable or decreasing 
population. 



Stable or decreasing 
population. 



TORTOISE MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS 

Thus far this Rangewide Plan has dealt with (1) the overall Goal for 
tortoise habitat management on BLM-admlnistered lands; (2) the Bureau's 
general strategy for implementing its tortoise program; (3) the Bureau's 
authorities, procedures, and policies relating to tortoise population and 
habitat management; and categorization of tortoise Habitat Areas. This 
information, along with what is in the 1987 Habitat Team report (see 
above), represents "where the Bureau is" with tortoise management on the 
public lands. The following list of Management Objectives and Actions 
represents "where the Bureau intends to go" during the coming decade to 
meet the Bureau's overall Goal for preserving and managing tortoises and 
their habitats. 

The overall Goal is "...to manage habitat so as to ensure that viable 
desert tortoise populations exist on public lands. This will be accom- 
plished through cooperative resource management aimed at protecting the 
species and its habitat." 

Management Actions are grouped under fourteen Management Objectives. 
These Objectives are not listed in priority order because many things may 
well proceed concurrently, and the relative importance of each Objective 
may be different between states or between areas. 

Objective 1. Increased Awareness; 

Objective 2. Inventory and Monitoring; 

Objective 3. Cumulative Impacts; 

Objective 4. Endangered Populations; 

Objective 5. Coordination and Cooperation; 

Objective 6. Research and Studies; 

Objective 7- Management of Tortoise Habitat; 

Objective 8. Lands and Realty Actions; 

Objective 9. Off-highway Vehicles; 

Objective 10. Livestock Use; 

Objective 11. Wild Horses and Burros; 

Objective 12. Wildlife Habitat Management; 

Objective 13. Predator Control; and 

Objective 14. Energy and Mineral Development. 

This Rangewide Plan represents an element of BLM's Planning System. Final 
categorizations will be accomplished through the resource management plan- 
ning process. Specific project proposals and other proposed uses will be 
subject to environmental analysis as necessary to comply with NEPA and to 
reach Informed decisions. Because environmental analysis within the plan- 
ning process will bring about full consideration of the effects of actions 
resulting from this Rangewide Plan, an environmental assessment of this 
plan is not considered to be necessary. 



A- 19 



Each Management Action relates directly to the Objective above it and 
should not be used Inconsistent with the intent of that Objective. Most 
Management Actions also relate to Category Goals listed in Table 1. 
Ultimately, each Management Action and Objective relates directly to the 
overall Goal for tortoise management stated above. Keeping these rela- 
tionships in mind will allow use of the following statements in their 
full, correct contexts. 

The definition of the term "mitigation" as used in this document is found 
in the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) guidelines (40 CFR 1508.20): 

(a) avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a 
certain action on parts of an action; 

(b) minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or 
magnitude of the action and its implementation; 

(c) rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, 
or restoring the affected environment; 

(d) reducing or eliminating the impact over time by 
preservation and maintenance operations during the life 
of the action; and 

(e) compensating for the impact by replacing or provid- 
ing substitute resources or environments. 

Objective 1 . Develop increased awareness of tortoise resources on the 
public lands. 

Management Action 1A . Develop an overall public education 
program concerning tortoise populations and habitats. 

(1) Develop a desert tortoise public affairs plan in 
each state by the end of FY 1989 that includes time 
frames and funding strategies for things such as items 
2-4 immediately following. 

(2) Prepare educational packets for distribution at 
agency offices and by rangers, wardens, deputy sher- 
iffs, etc. 

(3) Prepare and distribute radio and television 
announcements, videos, slide programs, brochures, pos- 
ters, decals, stickers, etc. 

(4) Change and update existing visitor use maps and 
brochures to include information to protect and con- 
serve tortoises (see Management Action IB for exam- 
ples). Exclude density information and categorizations. 



A- 20 



Management Action IB . Increase public awareness of Impor- 
tant tortoise Issues wherever the public might congregate in 
the field. SignB, brochures, and other Information media 
should deal with Issues such as proper treatment of tor- 
toises found on roads, the dangers of releasing diseased 
captive tortoises Into the wild, the senselessness and 
impacts of vandalism and shooting, and the legalities of 
collecting tortoises for pets. 

Management Action 1C . Share tortoise management expertise 
and data by holding workshops, developing short-term assign- 
ments for key personnel, conducting training, and providing 
formal information storage and transfer. 

Management Action ID . Develop an awareness in other Bureau 
disciplines of tortoises and their habitats, and capitalize 
on this increased awareness through a strong day-to-day 
advocacy for tortoise habitat protection and management, 
particularly in the BLM planning, environmental assessment, 
and budget processes. 

Management Action IE . Develop an Interagency, intergovern- 
mental, and public awareness of Bureau tortoise habitat 
Management Actions and related accomplishments through an 
active information and education program, a timely technical 
information transfer process, and other means. 

Management Action IF . Distribute this Rangewide Plan for 
desert tortoise management to other tortoise habitat 
managers/owners within 90 days of signing, and encourage 
their adoption of similar Goals, Objectives, and Management 
Actions for the lands they administer. 

Objective 2 . Complete and maintain on a continuing basis an inventory and 
monitoring program for tortoise populations and habitats to 
assist in making management decisions on the public lands. 

Management Action 2A . Complete and maintain an inventory of 
tortoise populations and habitats occurring on public 
lands. Assign Habitat Areas to Categories according to 
criteria set forth elsewhere in this Rangewide Plan as soon 
as adequate information is available (i.e., many Habitat 
Areas can be categorized soon after this Rangewide Plan is 
approved). The target dates for completion of Inventory and 
categorization are as follows: 



California 




March 1989; 


Utah 




March 1989; 


Nevada 




September 1989; and 


Arizona 


A- 21 


September 1992. 



Management Action 2B . Monitor study plots to ensure acqui- 
sition of adequate information to reach the Category Goal 
for each Habitat Area according to prescribed schedules 
developed in each state during FY 1989. This should be done 
in each study plot at least every four or five years based 
on the needs and characteristics of the area being monitored. 

Management Action 2C . Ensure that tortoise population and 
habitat monitoring and inventory are coordinated as needed 
among all entities gathering such information in order to 
avoid duplication of effort and undue disturbance to the 
tortoises involved. 

Management Action 2D . Use tortoise population and habitat 
monitoring techniques and terminology (where appropriate) 
that will give standard data elements for input into the 
Bureau's land-use planning and environmental assessment 
processes. 

(1) Develop a draft tortoise inventory and monitoring 
handbook by the end of FY 1988. No matter what techni- 
que is used, data must be of sufficient quality to 
permit state- to-state, population-to-population, and 
year-to-year comparisons. 

(2) Conduct a workshop in November 1988 to finalize 
the draft inventory and monitoring handbook for Wash- 
ington Office and State Director approvals. The 
relationship between inventory, monitoring, and cate- 
gorization of Habitat Areas should also be clarified at 
this workshop. 

Management Action 2E . Provide training to appropriate BLM 
personnel on a continuing basis on available inventory and 
monitoring techniques for tortoise populations and habitats. 

Management Action 2F . Ensure that all types of monitoring 
are conducted. These types include monitoring of tortoise 
populations, tortoise habitats, and pertinent management 
decisions in land-use plans, as well as compliance with 
relevant stipulations in records of decision and monitoring 
to determine the effectiveness of mitigations. 

Objective 3 . Develop and maintain a monitoring program specifically for 
land-use activities that adversely affect tortoise habi- 
tats. This program will be used in the analysis of and 
response to the cumulative impacts of land-use decisions on 
tortoise habitats. 

Management Action 3A . Develop a system by the end of FY 
1989 to track desert tortoise habitat quality and quantity 
through time, and report biennially (1990, 1992, 1994, etc.) 
on the cumulative impacts of land- use actions on desert 
tortoise Habitat Areas. 



A- 22 



Management Action 3B . Determine by the end of FY 1989 the 
feasibility of using Geographic Information System techno- 
logy as part of the Bureau's Land Information System to 
document the progress of land use as it affects tortoise 
habitat quantity and quality. This analysis should consider 
the costs of documenting the land uses existing as of Janu- 
ary 1, 1990, and the possibility of reconstructing the con- 
ditions existing in 1980 and 1985. 



Objective 4 . 



Comply fully with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended, as it relates to tortoise population and habitat 
management on the public lands. 



Management Action 4A . Comply with section 2 of the Endan- 
gered Species Act which concerns management of populations 
and habitats of unlisted species (populations) in a manner 
to ensure that species do not become threatened or endan- 
gered through man's actions. 

Management Action 4B . Take a leadership role in the manage- 
ment of officially listed populations of desert tortoises by 
developing and carrying out programs for their recovery. 

Management Action 4C . Assign officially determined (pursu- 
ant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act) desert tor- 
toise Critical Habitats to Category I. Categorization of 
the non-Critical Habitat of listed populations will depend 
on application of the criteria set forth In Table 1 of thiB 
Rangewide Plan. 



Objective 5 . 



Develop and maintain effective coordination and cooperation 
with outside agencies and Bureau constituents concerning 
tortoise population and habitat management. 



Management Action 5A . Document in administrative reports 
and published papers the results of all tortoise management 
research/studies/monitoring and individual tortoise Manage- 
ment Actions to facilitate Information transfer and to 
minimize duplication of research efforts. This should be 
done through annual progress reports and final reports 
within one year of completion of the projects. 

Management Action 5B . Coordinate and provide BLM assistance 
(logistical, financial, volunteer manpower, etc., as appro- 
priate) to those conducting non-Bureau studies and research 
involving tortoises and their habitats on the public lands. 
Assisted projects must contribute to reaching the Bureau's 
tortoise management Goals, Objectives, and/or Management 
Actions . 



Management Action 5C . Pursuant to Title 2 of the Sikes Act, 
coordinate the Bureau's tortoise population and habitat 
inventory, planning, management, and monitoring activities 
with similar activities and programs of other Federal 
departments and agencies and/or appropriate state and local 
governments. 

A- 23 



Management Action 5D . Coordinate tortoise management 

efforts with county and other local planning and zoning 

restrictions as appropriate and to the extent allowed by 
Federal laws and regulations. 

Management Action 5E . Participate fully on special over- 
sight groups, technical committees, and coordination groups 
that deal with tortoise population and habitat issues and 
management opportunities. 

(1) Provide for the functioning of a Desert Tortoise 
Management Oversight Group consisting of management- 
level representatives from FWS Regions 1, 2, and 6; BLM 
offices from each of the four involved states; the four 
involved state wildlife agencies; and the BLM's Wash- 
ington Office. The responsibilities of this group are 
listed in the 1987 Habitat Team report. 

(2) Assist in establishing (if necessary) and help 
provide for the functioning of four autonomous state- 
level Desert Tortoise Technical Committees. Represen- 
tation should include people with special knowledge of 
tortoises and their habitats. One of the purposes of 
these Technical Committees should be to advise and put 
issues before BLM managers and/or the Management Over- 
sight Group for their consideration. All such Commit- 
tees should be formalized by March of 1989. 

(3) Establish coordination groups to deal with speci- 
fic desert tortoise Issues and the overall program, 
with emphasis on coordination with user groups. BLM 
District Advisory Councils can be used to serve this 
purpose, if appropriate. 

Objective 6 . Conduct research and studies sufficient to develop and docu- 
ment the knowledge and techniques needed to ensure the via- 
bility of tortoise populations and habitats in perpetuity. 

Management Action 6A . Conduct a workshop during FY 1989 to 
clarify the concept of "viable population" as it relates to 
the desert tortoise in each of the genetically Isolated 
populations. 

Management Action 6B . Implement research and studies to 
answer the questions raised in Appendix 2 of the 1987 Habi- 
tat Team Report. For example, data gaps include the effects 
of grazing on tortoise populations and habitats, tortoise 
nutritional needs, acceptable levels of off-highway vehicle 
activity in tortoise habitat, the effects of habitat frag- 
mentation and disturbance in general, the estimation of 
viable population levels, the effects of predation (ravens, 
coyotes, etc.) on tortoise populations, the effects of tor- 
toise collection and subsequent release on wild populations, 
the long-term effects of wildfires on tortoise populations, 
the genetics of tortoise populations, and survivorship of 
relocated tortoises. 

A- 24 



Management Action 6C . Develop a tortoise research and 
studies plan by the end of FY 1989. This should be done 
within the framework of the Management Oversight Group. 

Objective 7 . Manage the public lands, on a continuing basis, to protect 
the scientific, ecological, and environmental quality of 
tortoise habitats consistent with the Category Goals and 
other Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. This implies 
management for the existence of an adequate number of 
healthy and vigorous tortoise populations of sufficient size 
and resilience to withstand the most severe environmental 
impacts, and with appropriate sex and age ratios and 
recruitment rates to maintain viable populations in per- 
petuity. 

Management Action 7A . Develop a strategy document in each 
involved BLM state to ensure that the overall Bureau Goal 
for tortoise habitat management i3 reached through imple- 
mentation of the Objectives in this Rangewide Plan. These 
documents shall be completed during FY 1989. 

Management Action 7B . Manage tortoise habitats using an 
ecosystem management approach with emphasis on maintaining 
or restoring natural biological diversity. Document in a 
biennial report (1990, 1992, 1994, etc.) how this Management 
Action has been implemented. 

Management Action 7C . Ensure adequate consideration of 

tortoise populations and habitats in the Bureau's land- use 

planning and decision- making processes, and mitigate for 

impacts to the extent mandated by law or appropriate under 
existing policy. 

(1) Incorporate the Category Goals, Objectives, and 
Management Actions of this Rangewide Plan in new 
Resource Management Plans as they are developed. 

(2) Where appropriate, update completed land- use plans 
through the amendment process to include the Category 
Goals, Objectives:, and Management Actions of this 
Rangewide Plan. 

Management Action 7D . Manage all desert tortoise Habitat 
Areas consistent with the appropriate Category Goals. This 
should be accomplished through the development and Implemen- 
tation of formal land-use plans that result in on-the-ground 
management actions. 

Management Action 7E . Where practicable, allow no net loss 
in quantity or quality (vegetation composition and struc- 
ture, levels of human disturbance) of Category I and II 
Habitat Areas. Where no reasonable alternatives to proposed 
actions affecting such tortoise habitats exist, losses may 
occur only if mitigation is not practicable. Document this 
through a biennial analysis of cumulative impacts (see 
Objective 3). 

A- 25 



Management Action 7F . In placing tortoise Habitat Areas 
into Categories, consider historically used, high potential 
tortoise habitats, the protection of which will assist in 
meeting the Objectives and Category Goals of this Rangewlde 
Plan. Categorize such areas appropriately, and protect 
them, where warranted. 

Management Action 7G . Identify specific and quantifiable 
tortoise management objectives within each categorized 
Habitat Area. 

(1) Begin habitat planning efforts with a knowledge of 
existing conditions of vegetation and tortoise popula- 
tions throughout the land area. 

(2) Evaluate the potential of the land area to respond 
to management. Explore the range of habitat conditions 
for which it may be possible to manage. Relate these 
potential conditions to the habitat requirements of the 
tortoise. 

(3) Set the tortoise management objectives for the 
land area. Specify the features of habitat composition 
and structure desired to meet the habitat requirements 
of the tortoise. 

(4) Communicate the desired tortoise population and 
habitat conditions in specific and quantitative terms. 
Reach a decision on the specific management 
prescription to be used in the area. 

(5) Implement the management prescription in the field. 

Management Action 7H . Provide appropriate input into fire 
management plans to minimize the effects of wildfires on 
tortoise habitats. 

Ob jective 8 . When the need is identified through the Bureau planning 
Bystem, acquire and/or consolidate, under Bureau admin- 
istration, management units with high tortoise habitat 
values, and mitigate the effects of issuing rights-of-way 
across public lands. 

Retention and Acquisition of Lands 

Management Action 8A . Use the Bureau's land exchange 
authorities as opportunities arise to consolidate tortoise 
habitats on the public lands, with emphasis on Category I 
and II tortoise Habitat Areas. 

Management Action 8B . Purchase Category I and II tortoise 
Habitat Areas consistent with the scope and intent of Bureau 
planning documents . 



A- 26 



Management Action 8C . Encourage private donations of land, 
funds, and services to facilitate acquisition of land with 
high tortoiBe habitat values. 

Management Action 8D . Retain Category I and II tortoise 
Habitat Areas unless (a) it clearly is in the National 
public interest to dispose of them and (b) losses can be 
mitigated. 

RIghts-of-Way 

Management Action 8E . Manage the issuance of rights-of-way 
in a manner that will minimize their effects on tortoise 
populations and habitats. 

(1) Grant new rights-of-way through Category I and II 
tortoise Habitat Areas only if no reasonable altern- 
ative exists. Mitigation for habitat losses is 
required . 

(2) Mitigate along rights-of-way to minimize direct 
losses of tortoises, fragmentation or reduction of 
habitat, and the effects of construction. 

Objective 9 . Ensure that off-highway vehicle use in desert tortoise 
habitats is consistent with the Category Goals, Objectives, 
and Management Actions of this Rangewide Plan. 

Management Action 9A . Where necessary to achieve Category 
Goals, close Category I and II tortoise Habitat Areas to 
off-highway vehicle use. Use outside of closed areas can be 
allowed provided it is not inconsistent with the Category 
Goals and Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. 

Management Action 9B . Where information Is inadequate, 
evaluate the impacts of both existing and new off-highway 
vehicle uses to determine if such uses are consistent with 
the Goals and Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. 

Management Action 9C . Minimize off-highway vehicle use in 
Category I and II tortoise Habitat Areas whenever informa- 
tion for decision making is adequate. This may include 
restriction of organized and casual off-highway vehicle use 
to designated roads and trails, restriction of such use to 
existing roads and trallB, placing limits and conditions on 
the authorization of commercial and competitive events, etc. 

Objective 10 . Ensure that livestock use is consistent with the Category 
Goals, Objectives, and Management Actions of this Rangewide 
Plan. This may include limiting, precluding, or deferring 
livestock use as documented in site- specif ic plans. 

Management Action 10A . In every grazing allotment which 
includes tortoise habitat, manage livestock to allow ade- 
quate and suitable native forage, space, and cover to be 
available to tortoises throughout the year. 

A- 27 



Management Action 10B . Where site potential permits, manage 
livestock grazing to increase native perennial grasses, 
forbs, and shrubB that are required by tortoises. 

nJaaagesaent Action IOC . Allow utilization of tortoise forage 
and cover plantB by livestock only to levels which allow for 
long-term plant vigor and adequate standing vegetation for 
late summer-fall tortoise use. 

Management Action 10D . Allow only those new range Improve- 
ments for livestock in Category I and II Habitat Areas which 
will not create conflicts with tortoise populations. Miti- 
gation for such conflicts is permissible to make the net 
effect of the improvements positive or neutral to desert 
tortoise populations. Conflicting existing Improvements 
should be eliminated as opportunities arise. 

Objective 11 . Provide for herd management for wild horses and burros which 
is consistent with the Category Goals, Objectives, and Man- 
agement Actions of this Rangewide Plan. This may include 
limiting or precluding wild horse and/or burro use, as 
appropriate. 

Management Action 11A . Continue to maintain appropriate 
management levels of wild horses and burros consistent with 
existing land-use plans and/or activity plans. 

Management Action 11B . Ensure that appropriate monitoring 
of wild horse and burro herds occurs , and use such monitor- 
ing data to help develop management prescriptions for desert 
tortoise habitats. 

Management Action 11C . where site potential permits, manage 
grazing by wild horses and burros to increase native peren- 
nial grasses, forbs, and shrubs required by tortoises as 
food and cover. 

Management Action IIP . Allow only those new range improve- 
ments for wild horses and burros In Category I and II Habi- 
tat Areas which will not create conflicts with tortoise 
populations. Mitigation for such conflicts is permissible 
to make the net effect of the improvements positive or neu- 
tral to desert tortoise populations. Conflicting existing 
improvements should be eliminated as opportunities arise. 

Objective 12 . Provide for management of wildlife other than desert tor- 
toises on the public lands consistent with the Category 
Goals, Objectives, and Management Actions of this Rangewide 
Plan. 

Management Action 12A . Manage wildlife habitat to allow 
adequate and suitable native forage, space, and cover to be 
available for desert tortoises throughout the year. 



A- 28 



Objective 13 



Management Action 12B . Allow the introduction or reintro- 
duction of wildlife species into Category I and II Habitat 
Areas only if such actions will not create conflicts with 
tortoise populations. 

Management Action 12C . Allow only those new range Improve- 
ments for wildlife that will not create conflicts with 
tortoise populations. Mitigation for such conflicts is 
permissible to make the net effect of the improvements 
positive or neutral to desert tortoise populations. Con- 
flicting existing improvements should be eliminated as 
opportunities arise. 

Cooperate with state wildlife agencies and APHIS to effect 
appropriate types and levels of predator control to meet the 
Category Goals and Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. This 
will be considered only where predation is interfering with 
maintaining viable tortoise populations. 

Management Action 13 A . Where predation problems are sus- 
pected, inventory predator populations and study their food 
habits and behaviors to determine which categorized tortoise 
Habitat Areas require predator control to meet the Category 
Goals and Objectives of this Rangewide Plan. 

Management Action 13B . Evaluate Bureau actions to determine 
whether or not they encourage the proliferation or range 
expansion of predator populations. Seek alternatives which 
minimize the increase and/or spread of predator populations. 

Objective 14. Manage the Bureau's energy and minerals program In a manner 
consistent with the Category Goals and Objectives of this 
Rangewide Plan. 



Management Action 14A . Consider withdrawal 
entry for Category I tortoise Habitat Areas. 



from mineral 



Management Action 14B . Mitigate the impacts to desert 
tortoise Habitat Areas from locatable mineral exploration 
and development to the extent possible through judicious 
implementation of the Bureau's 3802 and 3809 surface 
management regulations. 

Management Action 14C . Use the Bureau's discretionary 
authorities relating to leasable and salable minerals to 
meet the Category Goals and Objectives of this Rangewide 
Plan. 

Management Action 14D . Mitigate the impacts of energy and 
mineral development in tortoise habitat to the extent pos- 
sible under existing laws and regulations. 



A- 29 



*U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1989-0-685-048/101 12 






O x 




WILDEF 



1964 -TWENTY-FIVE 



l-' — ■>_* W VUHJilU 



HD 243 .N3 W566 1990 
U. S. Bureau of Land 

Management . Winnemucca 
Final environmental impact 



^n 4- ^ +■ •«. rv\^s v» *H 



tH - CO 80225 



UNITED STATES 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



Las Vegas District Office 

P.O. Box 26569 
Las Vegas, Nevada 89126 



OFFICIAL BUSINESS 

PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE. $300 




POSTAGE AND FEES PAID 

U.S. DEPARTMENT 

OF THE INTERIOR 

INT 415